POINT PLEASANT — This year, the city Christmas tree is returning to Point Pleasant, as are several others hoping to light up Gunn Park.
The city’s tree, sponsored by downtown merchants, will be the large, focal tree but surrounding it and filling the park will be smaller trees with the inaugural “Light of Christmas” tree project.
This project is to not only beautify downtown for the holidays, but a fundraiser for Mason County Toys for Kids, an organization which provides Christmas presents for less fortunate kids from across Mason County. Toys for Kids, along with the City of Point Pleasant, are inviting schools, businesses, churches, organizations, individuals, groups and clubs to participate by purchasing their own tree and decorating it for placement at Gunn Park during the holiday season.
Brandy Barkey Sweeney is an organizer for Toys for Kids and the tree project. She said she was inspired to bring the project to life after seeing the city Christmas tree tradition return to Point Pleasant last year and what Gallipolis did with its “Gallipolis In Lights” at the city park. She said seeing some trees decorated in memory of loved ones, gave her the idea to bring it to Point Pleasant.
For the tree project in Gunn Park, participants can bring trees decorated in memory of not only loved ones, but to raise awareness for illnesses, charities, 4-H Clubs, CEOS Clubs, veterans, businesses and more – in fact, the more creative the better.
“It’s a great way to promote things and help decorate the city,” Barkey Sweeney said.
Here’s how the project works:
Each school, business, church, organization, individual, group or club is responsible for getting a real tree six to 10-feet in height, decorating the tree and bringing it to Gunn Park from 9-11 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Thomas Do It Center is providing free stakes to secure the trees and someone will be on hand to help secure the trees. Location of the tree will be on a first come, first served basis. Decorations can be made or purchased.
Responsibilities for those who wish to participate include: LED lights, secured decorations on the tree, attaching a sign to the tree stating the purpose and/or business/group name, and supplying an outdoor extension cord for hook up. Realize the tree and decorations will be in the elements for a month so weatherproof the decorations and tightly secure them with zip ties.
After Jan. 1 and before Jan. 8, 2016, participants are responsible for taking any decorations off the tree they would like to keep for another year, otherwise the entire tree will be disposed.
There is a $20 fee to place the tree at Gunn Park which goes to Mason County Toys for Kids to benefit local children this year at Christmas.
Organizers are asking those interested in participating to pick up an entry form at the City of Point Pleasant Municipal Building, from Brandy or Brandon Sweeney, or at Peoples Bank North Branch. These forms should be turned in by Nov. 23 to allow organizers to develop a plan to place the trees in relation to the space and other logistics.
Brandy said these trees at Gunn Park for the tree project are not meant to overpower the city’s Christmas tree which will remain the centerpiece. The project is meant to literally bring the “Light of Christmas” to Point Pleasant, and help some less fortunate kids.
Call Brandy at 304-593-6055, or Brandon at 304-593-2071 for more information.
The actual lighting of the trees will take place during the city tree lighting ceremony tentatively scheduled for Friday, Dec. 4. More on the city’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony and Christmas parade in an upcoming edition.
Reach Beth Sergent at email@example.com or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.