The Center for Puppetry Arts is teaming up with their neighbors in Atlantic Station and the Georgia State University College of Education Alumni Club to sponsor a Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive. In conjunction with the drive, the Center will host a special evening with actor David Newell on Friday, Sept. 10 from 8 to 9 p.m. as he takes a look back at his career as Speedy Delivery man Mr. McFeely on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

In his special presentation, Mr. McFeely Remembers: A Tribute to Fred Rogers, Newell will share images, video clips (including bloopers!), and personal memories of working with the show’s host and lead puppeteer Fred Rogers for more than 30  years. At the end of the evening, fans will have a chance to take a picture with Newell, in character as Mr. McFeely.

During the Sweater Drive, members of the community are asked to donate new or gently worn children’s sweaters to benefit the Children’s Restoration Network, which supports homeless children in shelters and group homes. Mr. Rogers’-inspired sweater collection boxes are located at the Georgia State University College of Education building now through Sept. 10 and at the Center for Puppetry Arts from Sept. 10 through the end of the month.

Sweater donations can also be made at the Atlantic Station Artist’s Market on Sept. 11 and 18 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.; those who donate a sweater at this location will not only be helping out a child in need, they’ll also receive discount coupons from Atlantic Station retailers as well as a coupon to come see a show at the Center.

“This is such a fitting tribute to Fred Rogers and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” said Park Cofield, Audience Development Manager at the Center for Puppetry Arts. “Given Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood’s close tie with puppetry, we are so pleased to be a part of this initiative and to be working with our neighbors in Atlantic Station and the Georgia State University College of Education Alumni Club. It’s a wonderful opportunity to embrace our community and give back to the children in our area who are in need.”

Tickets for David Newell’s workshop, Mr. McFeely Remembers: A Tribute to Fred Rogers, are $5  for Center Members and $10 for Non-Members. Order online at www.puppet.org or call (404) 873-3391.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.