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Rotary salutes Circle of Trees winners, sponsors

December 29, 2011

Winners in the fifth-annual Circle of Trees were (front, from left) Stacy Volchko and Mary Molinari, representing the Career Women’s Club, Best Nighttime Appearing; Jake Smith, who helped in the annual display as his senior project; (back) Kerri Stebbins, Punxsy Garden Club, named Best Overall; and Gloria and Dale herr, representing the Friends of the Punxsutawney Memorial Library, Best Day Appearing. (PHoto by Tom Chapin)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Wednesday, the Punxsutawney Rotary Club saluted the sponsors and winners in its fifth annual Circle of Trees event, following a year which will be hard to top, according to the event chairman.

The winners in this year’s Circle of Trees were the Punxsy Garden Club, named Best Overall, with a $600 prize; Friends of the Punxsutawney Memorial Library, Best Day Appearing; and the Punxsy Career Women’s Club, Best Nighttime Appearing, both with $400 prizes.

Sponsors for this year were the Hampton Avenue and West Mahoning Street branches of S&T Bank; Miller Brothers Furniture; Mulberry Square Elder Care & Rehabilitation Center; Community First Bank; Johnston Furniture; David Smith, CPA; Thermal-Gard; Burke & Sons; Fastrak; and Marion Center Bank.

The theme was “An American Christmas,” with the 19 individual trees surrounding Memorial Bandstand in Barclay Square bearing a topper honoring those who have been part of the healing process since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

In saluting the winners and the sponsors, chairman Tom Chelgren said the 19 groups decorating trees took in about $200 each in donations from onlookers, for a total of about $4,000 that Rotary will put back into the community.

Kerri Stebbins, representing the Garden Club, said her group would use its prize money toward its summertime beautification projects, as well as toward gardening magazines at the library.

Gloria Kerr, representing the Friends, said her group would also donate funds to the library for new computer software and stacks for magazine back-issues.

The Career Women plan on donating their prize money toward Cross Roads.

Chelgren also saluted the work of PAHS senior Jake Smith, who helped with the project as part of his senior project.

Due to the anticipated wintry weather, this coming weekend, Rotary plans on dismantling the trees a bit earlier this year, namely Jan. 1.

Individual groups will dismantle their trees Friday and Saturday, so anyone who missed the display should head to Barclay Square to see the trees before they’re gone.

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