As we approach Christmas, my mind always wanders back to my years as a kid. Christmas was always a time that involved family. Family makeup changed over the years, but none-the-less, family was always a very important part of Christmas.

My dad loved Christmas! He was one of those guys who had the Christmas wreath attached to the grill of his car. He loved seeing the eyes of children light up as they experienced the joys of Christmas. He started an annual Christmas party at McPhee Elementary for under-privileged kids sponsored by his Optimist Club. He loved going shopping for the kids and always supplemented the club’s funds to purchase gifts. His joy watching the kids unwrap their presents was very apparent. He taught us that giving back is important.

When the HBAL Family gathered at Lincoln Northeast High School for the annual toy build for Santa Cop, the joy of Christmas was very apparent. Nearly 100 people came together to build toys for the less fortunate children of our community. There were a number of families and children who experienced the joys of giving. As a result of their efforts, HBAL donated 70 sets of builder blocks and $1,000 cash directly to Santa Cop. Over the 30 years of this HBAL project, we have donated 2,500 toys to Santa Cop. It made me so very proud of our association and members and our continued focus on giving back to our great community. Thank you to all who helped in this annual endeavor.

Speaking of community, HBAL members present at the November Membership Lunch heard Chief of Police Jeff Bliemeister speak about the job of the police department in our community. It was an informative and inspiring perspective from those charged with keeping our community safe. Thanks Chief to you and all your officers and public safety staff who keep us safe.

I look forward to seeing everyone December 6 at the HBAL Christmas Party at the Country Club of Lincoln. The entertainment for the night will be hypnotist Doug MacCraw. Purchase your reverse raffle tickets to raise money for the Lincoln Home Builders Care Foundation and a chance to win $1,000.

From Arlene, myself and our family, Merry Christmas to you and yours!