It all started with
a phone call to the Duneland Chamber of Commerce in mid-summer, when Jenny
Vidimos left a message stating that she had an evergreen in her front yard
she hoped could be of some use, knowing it needed to be cut down. “This 30
foot evergreen started as just a little $20 KMart tree we planted 24 years
ago. It’s grown to be a beauty but got too big for the space between our
house and our neighbor’s house,” Vidimos said.
that this tree was special to her family and their neighbors on Hogan Ave.,
and told of the effort that went into decorating it for the season and the
enjoyment everyone received from it each year. This is where the idea was
sparked to donate the tree to an organization that could use it to light up
the holidays for the community.
President Maura Durham was ecstatic to receive the donation towards this
year’s Hometown Holiday Celebration. But the idea wouldn’t have come to
fruition without the town departments and many businesses pitching in to
bring this tree to its full Christmas glory.
“We would like to
thank the Town Council and Parks Board for having the faith that we could
pull this off safely and that it would in fact be the shining star of the
holiday season dŽcor in the downtown,” Durham said. “The transport wouldn’t
have been possible without help from the entire street department, park
department, and police department, in addition to our towing friends Joe
Wagner and John Bell.”
“It was quite
thrilling to see the operation to get it down and transported,” said Vidimos.
But it’s not a
Christmas tree without thousands of lights, bows, and a shiny star on top.
Mark Hopkins, owner of Hopkins ACE Hardware, dedicated his personal time and
resources to make sure this tree had a one-of-a-kind welded metal star that
would light up the night through hundreds of lights woven into the border,
all created by his own hand. The hundreds of red bows were donated by Shady
Lawn, and hand tied by Kathy Czaplenski.
Saturday, 5 p.m.
November 25, the tree will become the Chesterton Christmas tree downtown,
with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. The tree lighting will take place at
5 p.m., immediately followed by the Twilight Christmas Parade to step off
from Chesterton Middle School at 5:15 p.m.