POINT PLEASANT — A city tradition filled with the holiday spirit will be making its return with Christmas trees all differently decorated helping to provide local children with gifts.
The Light of Christmas Tree Project sponsored the by Mason County Toys for Kids Association, is returning for its fourth holiday season on Nov. 30 (parade date is subject to change) at Gunn Park following the Christmas parade at 6 p.m.
The City of Point Pleasant brought the lighting of the tree tradition back in 2014, the same year Brandy Barkey Sweeney, event organizer, had a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implanted and was placed on the heart transplant list. After visiting a local city park decorated with several Christmas trees, she told her husband Brandon if she survived they would begin a Christmas tree project in Point Pleasant. She said people do not realize the impact a simple Christmas tree has on others adding that she has been told the act of putting up a Christmas tree in memory of a loved one is helpful on an emotional level during the holidays.
Sweeney said, “We know Jesus’ birth is the reason we celebrate Christmas, so we came up with the name, ‘The Light of Christmas,’ tree project because He is the light.”
Mason County schools, businesses, churches, organizations, groups, clubs, and individuals are encouraged to participate in decorating a themed Christmas tree to be on display along the side walk of Gunn Park. Participants may either pay a $20 fee and purchase their own 6-8 ft. Christmas tree, or pay a fee a $50 fee to have the project committee choose their tree and have it delivered. If the tree does not meet the height requirements, the tree cannot be safely secured. Sweeney advises those participating to purchase a tree from Bob’s Market as they will deliver the tree to them and will be accurate in choosing the size of tree. All proceeds go to The Mason County Toys for Kids Association to buy gifts for local children.
A plaque will be given for the “People’s Choice” tree.
“We want to see as many groups, ball teams, organizations, businesses, etc. as possible take part in this event,” said Sweeney.
On Nov. 24 between 4:30-6 p.m. a committee member will direct participants to their designated spot in accordance to their tree’s size. The project committee will provide those decorating a tree with two stakes; however, if a tree requires more than two stakes, the additional stakes must be provided by the participant. Participants must provide their own extension cords, LED lights, and decorations. Also, a sign should be attached to the tree stating the purpose of the tree and/or the business/group name who is sponsoring the tree. Participants are advised to weatherproof their decorations with zip ties. Tree decorating may be done on Nov. 24 or any day until Nov. 29. After Jan. 1 to Jan. 5, participants must remove any decorations from their trees they may wish to keep as the trees will be disposed.
Forms may be picked up at the City Building or People’s Bank. Also, interested participants may contact Sweeney on Facebook or at (304) 593-6055 and she will provide them with a form and/or answer any further questions.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.