POINT PLEASANT — The Light of Christmas Tree Project is returning for its seventh year to bring Christmas cheer to downtown and raise funds for Toys for Kids.
Brandy Sweeney started the project the same year she received an LVAD (left ventricular assist device) and witnessing how the trees across the river in Gallipolis, Ohio lifted spirits.
“I had told my husband if I lived to see next Christmas, we are starting this in Point Pleasant,” Sweeney said.
Each year members of the community have the opportunity to purchase trees that they then decorate. Sweeney uses the Light of Christmas Tree Project to help raise funds for the Toys for Kids program that assists in providing toys to children for Christmas.
The trees are displayed in Gunn Park until January, being lit during the Point Pleasant tree lighting.
As previously reported by Ohio Valley Publishing, it was announced by Point Pleasant City Council that both the annual parade and tree lighting are set for Dec. 3 with a rain date of Dec. 4. Details will be released when available.
Each tree is $75 plus lights, decoration and extension cords, with $25 going to Toys for Kids and the rest providing the Christmas tree. The deadline to sponsor a tree is Friday, Nov. 19.
Sweeney said applications can be dropped off at her house or sent to her via Facebook.
The trees will be staked on Nov. 27 with tree sponsors decorating between Nov. 28 and Dec. 1. The trees will be on display until Jan. 1 and sponsors will need to have all decorations removed by Jan. 7 to allow the city to recycle the trees.
Sweeney hopes to grow the event each year.
“I just think that we need more cheer and people coming together and Christmas does that,” Sweeney said. “I want downtown to look like a Hallmark movie and everybody loves each other. That’s always just like a dream.”
Sweeney said people have asked what would happen if they run out of room for trees, something she said she has never had to encounter but would be a great problem to have.
Sweeney said she encourages everyone to do a tree. She said businesses, churches and sports teams/organizations are welcome. Sweeney said trees can also be done in memory, or in honor of someone, or to raise awareness for a cause.
Toys for Kids assists in providing Christmas gifts for kids zero to 16. Sign-ups close November 30 and can be accessed with the QR code or by contacting Brandy via Facebook messenger or at 304-593-6055.
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Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @britthively; reach her at (740) 446-2342 ext 2555.