CLOSE UP    Zooming in on
the people, places and things that make this community interesting.

sponsored by CHRIS COYNE, agent - State Farm Insurance

Festival of Trees huge success for Mount Pulaski Courthouse Foundation

Send a link to a friend 

[December 10, 2013]  MOUNT PULASKI Christmas carols were playing while the sidewalks and steps were decked with candles on Saturday night for the Festival of Trees and open house at the historic Mount Pulaski Courthouse. A portrayer of Abraham Lincoln was present to greet everyone, and all shared in beautiful Christmas treats.

The courtroom was full when Renee Martin, a member of the board of the Mount Pulaski Courthouse Foundation, welcomed everyone. She remembered growing up with the courthouse as an important part of life in Mount Pulaski. She said she wanted her own children to grow up with it "in good shape, not tattered."

Auctioneer Mike Maske volunteered his time to auction the 25 decorated trees and the accent cabinet donated by Salt Creek Attic. Ms. Martin and Mr. Lincoln introduced each tree.

Most of the trees were decorated and donated by local businesses, but the Logan County Tourism Bureau decorated and donated one, too. Also, some local families decorated and donated trees. Some interesting ones: Farmers Bank tree with bows of $1 bills; Mount Pulaski Pharmacy tree with ornaments of gauze, pill bottles, etc.; and the tree provided by Hayes Garage and family, with colorful cancer ribbons in memory of Dick's wife, Shirley, who died recently.

Maske was full of humor and always urged everyone to cheer people to raise their offers. The trees raised $4,445 and the accent cabinet went for $350, for a grand total of $4,795 for the courthouse foundation.

Before the trees were auctioned, Tom Martin, chairman of the foundation, thanked the committee, everyone who prepared a tree and all those who have supported the foundation since its founding in 2011. He reviewed the improvements to the building that have been accomplished. He said the foundation had been moving slowly because they need to work closely with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency to be "careful to do the work the right way so it does not need to be done over." He emphasized that a lot of what the organization has been doing is to "get the community on board" with taking care of and enjoying the historic courthouse. He pointed to the past two summer workweeks and street fests.

At the end of the evening, Martin thanked Maske and invited everyone to volunteer some time to care for the courthouse. "Come swing a hammer or a paintbrush. Just come in and we will find something for you to do," he said.

Martin ended his remarks with a surprise announcement. He reported that the Waldo and Rosalie Bertoni estate had willed a bequest of $250,000 to the Mount Pulaski Courthouse Foundation. Waldo died two years ago, and Rosalie died at the end of October. Both had been regular members of the Mount Pulaski 175th Anniversary Planning Committee during the 2010-2011 years. Waldo was born and raised in Mount Pulaski, and his wife, the former Rosalie Smith, was born and raised in Chestnut. They were both graduates of Mount Pulaski High School. They had returned from their initial retirement home in Falls Church, Va., to their final retirement home in Mount Pulaski in the summer of 2005.

The State Bank of Lincoln has informed the Mount Pulaski Courthouse Foundation that it should expect to receive the funds in about six months. Martin expressed his gratitude for the trust the Bertonis and the community had placed in this new foundation. This gift from the Bertoni estate "will change our perception of what we do and how we do it," he said.

[to top of second column]

Below is a list of all those who donated a tree, and second, those who purchased it. The foundation is very appreciative of all who helped make this a very successful fundraiser.

  • Johnson's Food Center $50, by Jeanie Beccue

  • Illinois National Bank $150, by Dean and Doris Cates

  • State Farm Insurance, Deron Powell $70, by Barbara Stroud-Borth

  • Drs. Mason and Mason Dentistry $110, by Phyllis Beccue

  • Country Financial Insurance $60, by Doug and Kimberly Johnson

  • Johnson True Value Hardware $50, by Jeanie Beccue

  • DPCM Insurance $100, by DPCM Insurance

  • D'tails Dog Grooming $70, by Kella Allspach

  • Mount Pulaski Library $110, by Tom and Cheryl Martin

  • City of Mount Pulaski $150, by Laura Lee

  • Farmers Bank $100, by Joe Butler

  • Hayes Auto Supply $150, by Barb Freer, Hayes Auto Supply

  • Cross Bros. Implement $300, by Joe Butler

  • Botanica $90, by Jeannie Beccue

  • Mount Pulaski Pharmacy $350, by Dennis Graue

  • Pizza Man $50, by Illinois National Bank, Dee Jason (The bank donated tree back to be re-auctioned, and it was purchased the second time by Mike Maske.)

  • Pizza Man $100, by Mike Maske

  • Saddie's $100, by Joe Butler

  • The Barn $60, by Laura Lee

  • Martin Grain $150, by Mary Pope

  • Barbara Stroud-Borth $350, by Shelby Daigh

  • A. Lincoln Tourism board of Logan County $230, by Allspach Farms

  • Stahl's Furniture $500, by Tom and Cheryl Martin

  • Tena Stoudt Family $175, by Shelby Daigh

  • Salt Creek Attic $210, by Kim and Shaun Tyson

  • Mount Pulaski Grade School third-grade classes $610, by Allspach Farms

  • Courthouse accent cabinet $350, by Dennis Graue

Grand total raised: $4,795

[By BARBARA STROUD-BORTH, member of the Mount Pulaski Courthouse Foundation; edited by Tom Martin, foundation chairman]

< Top Stories index

Back to top