Features http://www.galaxgazette.com/features/todaysfeatures en Letters to Santa 2017 http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/letters-santa-2017 <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/new_santa_letter_graphic.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> Mrs. Handy&rsquo;s First Grade Class</p> <p> Baywood Elementary School</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Dear Santa,</p> <p> I wut a soft bunny for Christmas. And I wut a dodeball for me to play at my hast. I wut to play with and blue and red ball to play at side in the yod.</p> <p> Love,</p> <p> Jazz</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Dear Santa,</p> <p> I wot a L.O.L. bab toy and a hachmowe balrene clos and a big puppy with a blue bow and black soph scin toy and a toy car. I wat it helowe city.</p> <p> Love,</p> <p> Rosalyn</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Dear Santa,</p> Love is the focus of King celebration http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/love-focus-king-celebration <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/riverhillbaptistchoir.jpg" alt="The River Hill Baptist Choir sings at Sunday’s service at McMillian Ministries." title="The River Hill Baptist Choir sings at Sunday’s service at McMillian Ministries." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, hosted by McMillian Ministries in Galax on Sunday, was lighter in attendance and shorter in duration than in past years, but still filled with spirit and song.</p> Foundation grants Hillsville child's wish http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/foundation-grants-hillsville-childs-wish <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/kiahsitting.jpg" alt="Hezekiah Goad of Hillsville" title="Hezekiah Goad of Hillsville" align="left" hspace="6" width="59" height="85" /><p> HILLSVILLE &mdash; Hezekiah Goad, almost 3 years old, will be taking a trip to Disney World in mid-January with his family, thanks to the Make A Wish Foundation, which exists to grant wishes to children with life-threatening conditions.</p> <p> &ldquo;Kiah loves to watch Mickey Mouse,&rdquo; said his mom, Carrie, using the family&rsquo;s nickname for her son. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s about the only thing we know he loves. He doesn&rsquo;t know really [that we&rsquo;re going]. But I have faith he is going to love it.&rdquo;</p> Fans roll out for final skate http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/fans-roll-out-final-skate <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/26540077_1701075049913287_1968708364_o.jpg" alt="A crowd showed up for the final night at Galax Roller Land on Dec. 30, which was a fundraiser for owner Ronald Vaught." title="A crowd showed up for the final night at Galax Roller Land on Dec. 30, which was a fundraiser for owner Ronald Vaught." align="left" hspace="6" width="254" height="85" /><p> <em>Staff Report</em></p> <p> A Galax skating rink that has been part of the community for nearly 40 years closed this weekend, but before it did, dozens of people came out for one last skate.</p> <p> Galax Roller Land owner Ronald Vaught is recovering for a few weeks in a nursing home after suffering a stroke around Thanksgiving. He has decided to close the business, but family and friends organized a fundraising skate for Dec. 30 to raise money for Vaught.</p> GHS cheerleaders invited to Walt Disney World http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/ghs-cheerleaders-invited-walt-disney-world <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/img_5166.jpg" alt="Galax High School cheerleaders (from left) Summer Caudell, Jackie Dorsey and Lexie Hale at Walt Disney World, where they were invited to participate in the park’s Christmas parade." title="Galax High School cheerleaders (from left) Summer Caudell, Jackie Dorsey and Lexie Hale at Walt Disney World, where they were invited to participate in the park’s Christmas parade." align="left" hspace="6" width="51" height="85" /><p> <strong><em>By D.T. CLARK, Staff</em></strong></p> <p> Earlier this month, Lexi Hale, Summer Caudell and Jackie Dorsey answered an invitation, made to them last summer, to participate in a holiday parade in Walt Disney World Resort.</p> <p> The Galax High School cheerleaders&rsquo; report on what happened and how they feel about it might be summed up in Hale&rsquo;s single sentence: &ldquo;It was a life-changer.&rdquo;</p> He's four http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/hes-four-7 <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/briley_marshall_1.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Briley McKinley Marshall celebrated his fourth birthday Dec. 10 with&nbsp;a Captain America party. He is the son of Chrissy Marshall and the late Joseph Marshall.<br /> <br /> His big sisters are Izzie and Cassie Marshall. His grandparents are Randy Bell and the late Kim Bell and Dennis and Opie Marshall. His great-grandparents are M.C. Bell and the late Irene Bell, the Late Verna Liddle, O&rsquo;Neal and O&rsquo;Needa Terry, and the Late Virgil and Patty Marshall.</p> Couple to celebrate anniversary today http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/couple-celebrate-anniversary-today-0 <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/hayes_50th_anniversary.jpg" alt="DAVID AND GAIL HAYES " title="DAVID AND GAIL HAYES " align="left" hspace="6" /><p> David and Gail Hayes were married Dec. 22, 1967, at Howard&rsquo;s Creek Baptist Church in Boone, N.C.<br /> <br /> Their simple evening service is perhaps best remembered for the six inches of fresh snow that awaited the full church afterwards.<br /> They enjoy the simple life on the farm of their dreams in beautiful Spring Valley in Grayson County. Friends John Mack and Ruby Rutherford Funk sold the Rutherford farm to them in 1993.<br /> Their children are Nancy of Fries and Nathan and Kristi of Kingsport, Tenn.</p> A Gift of Honor http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/gift-honor <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/25589729_10204069569057733_715562006_n.jpg" alt="Beverly Billings at one of the graves where she and her family placed Christmas wreaths." title="Beverly Billings at one of the graves where she and her family placed Christmas wreaths." align="left" hspace="6" width="48" height="85" /><p> <em><strong>By D.T. CLARK, Staff</strong></em></p> <p> Beverly Billings is the epitome of those people about whom you say, &ldquo;If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.&rdquo;</p> <p> She&rsquo;s a working nurse, wife and mother who&rsquo;s studying to earn an additional degree.</p>