Wednesday, Dec. 3


Community Christmas tree project promotes 'Sharing Hands and Hearts
of Logan County'    
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[DEC. 3, 2003]  Judy Awe, her family and friends spent last week putting up the Logan County Christmas tree in the county courthouse. Since Christmas of 1999 this has been a labor of love for those involved. The Christmas tree project, now in its fifth year, continues to grow. This year's theme is "Sharing Hands and Hearts of Logan County."

The 18-foot-tall tree takes some time to put up. The process usually starts around Veterans Day and takes at least three full days with the courthouse closed to finish. This year, due to Veterans Day being on a Tuesday and the courthouse closing for only one day, work on the tree did not start until Thanksgiving week.

Each year citizens of Logan County donate ornaments for the tree. The ornaments donated in years past make their way higher up the tree as a new Christmas season arrives and new ornaments are donated.

The tree is so tall that scaffolding has to be set up to work on the top of it. The branches are fluffed and put into place, and the ornaments from the previous years are hung.

Two years ago the Quilters at Heart Guild was contacted and asked if they would be interested in quilting a skirt for the community tree. After two years of dedicated work the guild has completed the skirt, and it will be placed underneath the tree this year. The skirt is 12 feet by 12 feet and is made with machine-pieced, quilted Christmas log cabin blocks. The quilt's back is an embroidered quilting pattern of holly and ivy. Many hands and hearts, much time and talent, and love for quilting and our community can be seen in this one-of-a-kind tree skirt.

In the past ornaments and photos have been donated. This year a new feature has been added. People can submit stories about how they share. The stories should be about how people share, how organizations work to get funding for projects to help the community.

The charitable efforts can also extend beyond the Logan County community. The stories will be laminated and placed around a log fencing that will surround the Christmas tree.

Everyone in Logan County is encouraged to participate in this community project. Churches, businesses, families, schools, service clubs, organizations and individuals are invited to share their highlighted stories of "Sharing Hands and Hearts of Logan County."


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People who have stories that they wish to submit should send them to Judy Awe, 123 Crestwood Drive, Lincoln, IL 62656-1360. The stories should be typed or neatly written. They will be placed on templates that are 8.5 by 11 inches.

Ornaments that are donated should be no more than 6 inches square and weigh no more then 8 ounces. They should be submitted in an appropriate box that can be used for future storage.

If you have photos for your ornaments, they should not exceed 5 by 7 inches. Photos should be submitted in envelopes. Frames will be made to fit. Personal information should also be included. A label information registry will be available to keep for future reference.

All ornaments and photos will be identified, labeled and recorded in the permanent register displayed at the tree location. Ornaments and photos have been received at the Logan County Courthouse security desk.

Along with the community Christmas tree, there will also be a food drive. A box for nonperishable food donations will be kept near the security desk. The nonperishable food will be donated to the local food pantries.

The courthouse will be open after the Christmas parade on Dec. 4 for viewing the community tree. The tree can also be viewed on the following two Sundays, Dec. 7 and 14, from noon until 3 p.m.

Everyone is invited to come see the community Christmas tree and see the kinds of things that are done throughout the year as a part of the "Sharing Hands and Hearts of Logan County." This project is designed to promote and recognize the sharing and caring that people do in the community.

Awe said, "It is a project that everyone can participate in and share."

[Don Todd]

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