Preparing for upcoming events planned for the city, members of the Evarts Tourist Commission met recently and set Dec. 6 as the date for this year’s Christmas Parade.
Choosing “A Christmas Miracle” as their theme for this year, all members agreed to name Tony “T.J.” Brewer as this year’s grand marshal for the parade.
A cancer survivor and medical miracle, Brewer, 35 of Black Mountain, will be the first one to tell you he is still alive because of a “miracle from God.”
Diagnosed with brain cancer in 2006 and told he had less than three months to live, Brewer refused to accept the diagnosis and lives each day trying to help others.
In a recent interview with Brewer when he was chosen to speak during “Relay For Life” he said if you have been given the diagnosis of cancer, just remember “there is always hope.”
“Times will get dark and it will be scary and confusing, but there is always hope as long as you have breath,” said Brewer. “God is able to help you in his time and in his way. We may have to suffer a little while, but just like putting stitches in a quilt, it may not look good at first and it may take a while to finish, but in the end everything comes together and you have a beautiful picture to behold. Every paint stroke of our life paints a beautiful picture. It may not be pretty at times, but the end result will be beautiful if you make God your priority. I hope one day there will be a cure for cancer.”
Brewer is co-owner of Brewer’s Gym in Verda and youth minister at the Black Mountain Missionary Baptist Church. He is a volunteer football coach at Evarts Elementary School and a volunteer basketball coach at Black Mountain Elementary School. He organized and directs a charity “Kettle Bell Kares” where he collects canned food items and distributes them to needy families during the Thanksgiving holiday. He visits the elderly, who are unable to attend church, and reads the Bible to them. He also does numerous other volunteer activities.
He is the son of the late Tony Brewer, who lost his battle with cancer, and his mother, Vickie Moore, who is a cancer survivor. His brother, Chris, is a deputy with the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office. He also has a God-daughter, Bethany Day, 15 of Black Mountain.
Brewer was contacted after the meeting and he said, “It’s an honor and privilege to have been chosen as grand marshal for this year’s Christmas Parade. I want to represent all cancer survivors not only here in the Clover Fork area, but from across our county. I will be carrying a piece of coal with me during the parade to symbolize all the hardworking coal miners who are and have been the back bone of our city and our county.”
The parade will begin line up at 1 p.m. at the Evarts Elementary School. The parade will begin at 3 p.m.
In other action, members approved a motion to provide desserts for the Harlan County Ridge Runners “Jingle Bell Ride” set for Nov. 28 at the North Evarts RV Park. The ride will begin from the park between 9-9:45 a.m. The only cost for the ride is the donation of a gift to be given away to needy families during the Christmas holiday. The first 50 who donate will receive a free T-shirt. After the ride there will be a chili dinner and dessert for those participating in the ride.
Plans were made for a Thanksgiving dinner for members of the commission at their next scheduled meeting. A motion was made and approved to hire Linda Hensley to cater the event.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde