COMMUNITY SPIRIT & THE CHRISTMAS TREE PROJECT
THE CHRISTMAS TREE PROJECT
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
This Christmas, the community of Southside came together and worked as a whole to create a project that portrays what ‘community’ stands for – caring, inclusion, engagement.
The heart and brains behind The Christmas Tree Project is the community’s very own Councilwoman, Genny Ball. Those who know her, describe her as a vivacious, fun, and caring woman who is also a retired educator, meaning she knows how to roll up her sleeves when a brilliant idea takes hold.
And, she didn’t have any difficulty recruiting her fellow community members to help bring the endeavor to fruition.
When asked, Ms. Ball described the Christmas Tree Project- which took place on the front lawn of the original Southside school property -as, “…a joint community effort by lots of folks!
There was so much support, even by folks that didn’t create a tree, but were there for the excitement and encouragement.”
Families and businesses sponsored trees; many of which were dedicated to loved ones and family members, including a memory tree for Stefanie Deru. The evening of the event, the community gathered to construct the Christmas Trees. The finale was the coming together of friends and family for their lighting at dusk.
Much of the work, however, was completed weeks in advance. When asked who all helped in the endeavor, Mrs. Ball explained that the outpouring of support was astounding. “Brian Winningham was the master creator. He and Bobby Pylant drove all the poles in the ground; they were donated by Craig Pierce with A & G Fence Co. Michael Jenkins also helped and made the star. The support of the community was overwhelming! There were others behind the scenes-like Joseph Hutchins, and Brandi Winningham. She helped construct the actual circles for the bottoms of the trees. All put forth the effort to make it happen. Businesses and individuals alike, sponsored or donated a tree. Next year we hope to have three times as many!”
Councilwoman Ball also expressed gratitude to Chad Ellis whobrought out DJ entertainment speakers and played Christmas music whileparticipants worked; and, also, Lauren Bradberry who made hot chocolate foreveryone who was there. Ms. Ball explained that next summer, she will beginlining up participants for the coming Christmas.
“Next year we hope to have three times as many!...We hope everyoneparticipates, and will make this an event that we all look forward to each year.”
Participating Southside businesses include: Southside Pharmacy, McDonald’s, Don’s Paintand Hardware, Amanda Blackwell with Huffstutler Chiropractic, and Joey JonesConstruction.