McLouth resident rallies the Christmas spirit
by Dennis Sharkey
McLouth resident Mary Garcia knows that sometimes if you want something done, you do it yourself.
That is what Garcia did this year after writing a letter to the editor last December challenging her community to show their Christmas spirit.
“You drove through McLouth and nobody had any lights up and no Christmas trees, it was just barren,” she said. “If you drove through McLouth, you would’ve never known it was Christmas.”
Garcia said a few businesses downtown had decorations up in their stores but the community did not feel like it had the spirit. After writing the letter Garcia received some encouragement, but she also got some negative calls.
After thinking about the letter she wrote for the past several months Garcia said she decided that she needed to do something herself.
Garcia purchased a 12-foot Christmas tree and lights and plans on putting the tree up in the city park along Union Street.
“Since I ran my mouth last year I figured I had to back it up,” she said. “This year I said watch what you ask for. We’re doing this just for the heck of it and it’s something that needs to be done.”
After taking matters into her own hands, Garcia decided to once again ask her community members to join her in a Christmas celebration.
Garcia made flyers and began speaking with residents and business owners about her plan. Now it appears the rest of the community has rallied around Garcia’s passion.
Local businesses, community groups and individuals are now chipping in. In addition to a tree lighting Sunday night, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, and Police Chief Marcus Koch will be singing carols and all attending will be able to enjoy free hot dogs, popcorn, hot chocolate and cookies.
Local school children are also helping. Garcia said last week she picked up three boxes of homemade decorations that were made by McLouth children to trim the tree. To warm the feet, a controlled bonfire will burn after dark.
Garcia said she expected some positive response to her idea but the outpour has been more than expected.
“Once people know that it’s going to be for the city and the kids, everybody wants to be part of it. I wasn’t asking for anything, I was just informing,” she said about her campaign to get the community involved. “It makes you feel good when people do it and you don’t even have to ask.”
Short URL: http://www.jeffcountynews.com/?p=3202