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Festival of Trees Opens; 84 Entries in This Year's Event

By Jason Togyer
The Tube City Almanac
December 01, 2016
Posted in: Announcements

The 31st Annual Festival of Trees opened Thursday at the Jacob Woll Pavilion in McKeesport's Renziehausen Park.

Girl Scouts from Troop 58112 in White Oak sang a medley of Christmas carols before joining McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko in a ceremonial tree-lighting at 6:30 p.m. near the Renzie Park Senior Center. Santa Claus then arrived on McKeesport Fire Department's ladder truck.

The festival continues through Monday. Pat Harris of McKeesport, who co-chairs the festival with Cheryl Myers Cotter, said about 1,200 adults attend each year, plus many children, whose attendance isn't closely counted.

There are 84 trees on display at Jacob Woll, with several additional trees displayed at the nearby McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center. Along with the Garden Club of McKeesport, the Heritage Center is open during special hours for the festival.

Harris has been volunteering at the Festival of Trees for 10 years. "This year, for the first time, I really feel sorry for the judges, because I would have a hard time picking a winner," she said.

Festival hours are 12 noon to 9 p.m. through Monday. Admission is $2 for adults; children 12 and under are admitted for free if they bring a canned good for a local food bank.


Description of Trees

1. Striffler Family Funeral Homes Remembrance Tree: This tree is trimmed with an ornament representing each person that Striffler Family Funeral Homes cared for this year. This ornament is a remembrance to keep, it can be picked up at a later date after the Festival ends.

2. Striffler Family Funeral Homes -- Pet Remembrance Tree: This tree is trimmed with an ornament representing each loyal pet that Striffler Family Funeral Homes has cared for this year. This ornament is a remembrance to keep, it can be picked up at later date after the Festival ends.

3. NAPA Auto Parts of White Oak: This tree is trimmed in yellow and blue, representing the colors of the National Auto Parts Association... “NAPA Know How”

4. White Oak Animal Safe Haven -- W.O.A.S.H.: We are a no-kill shelter that provides medical care and good homes for homeless animals. Come visit us, we may have your new best friend.

5. Cub Scout Pack 916 -- Christmas around the Campfire: Our Holiday tree is decorated with handmade ornaments and garland from Cub Scouts in grades 1-5. All decorations relate to a camping/outdoors theme. The Cub Scouts Spirit is also represented within the tree with decorations highlighting the Scout Law, Cub Scout Motto, and Cub Scout Oath.

6. The Well Ministries -- Hark the Herald Angels Sing: The Well Ministries tree is decorated with paper flowers ornaments that were formed from a recycled hymn book.

7. McKeesport Area Ministerium -- Believe Campaign: The McKeesport Area Ministerium is a group of pastors and lay persons representing various churches and non-profit organizations in the McKeesport and surrounding area that meet the second Thursday of each month for prayer and Christian fellowship. They sponsor several events throughout the year including a Prayer Service for Christian Unity in May coinciding with the National Day of Prayer and a Community Thanksgiving Service the Sunday before Thanksgiving. They also sponsor a Prayer Booths at International Village and other events throughout the year. The theme of our tree comes from the Believe Campaign started in 2009 to “help people believe in something again”. The emphasis is to believe in God, but also believe in themselves, so they can have a better self esteem to better their lives, their neighborhoods, and their community. Please feel free to take one of our Believe buttons off of the tree.

8. McKeesport First Steps Parenting Program -- First Steps Angels Bring Peace and Love to McKeesport: At the McKeesport First Steps Annual Thanksgiving Dinner, the children made angels. McKeesport First Steps is a Parent Education/Child Development Program servicing children ages 0-5 in the McKeesport Area School District.

9. McKeesport Art Group -- The North Wind: It’s Winter and the North wind blows throughout the season on our tree. Brrrrr, stay warm!

10. Nuttal Public Safety -- The Thin Line: Our tree shows respect for our First Responders, Police and Fire.

11. Faith Lutheran Church -- Luther Tree: This is the 500th Anniversary year of the Protestant Reformation. Our tree will celebrate Martin Luther and other themes connected with the Reformation. Ornaments have been made by congregational members of all ages.

12. East Allegheny Meals on Wheels Inc.: On behalf of East Allegheny Meals on Wheels and our 50+ volunteers, our Friday cooking and packing ladies, Annalise Haughwout, Bev Moody, Wilma Taylor, and Ethel Booth decided to decorate a tree showcasing a meal that our residents would receive. EAMOW is a non-profit charitable organization with 100% volunteer service since 1974 that provides a hot meal to residents who are unable to cook for themselves. Our volunteer drivers pack their own cars and deliver the hot meals to individuals who are fragile, elderly, homebound, disabled, or recovering from an accident, illness, or surgery. EAMOW operates Monday thru Friday from 7AM to 11AM out of the kitchen of Linway United Presbyterian Church, 600 Lincoln Way, North Versailles, Pa 15137. 412-327-6908 (Vi Hensler)

13. Praise Christian Academy -- “Wings of Hope and Love”: Students at Praise Christian academy created angel - themed ornaments for our Wings of Hope and Love” Christmas tree during our art classes. Angels were the messengers of hope and love on the very first Christmas. The word angel literally means “messenger” for an angel appeared to Mary to announce the birth of Christ (Luke:1:20-38). An angel appeared to Joseph telling him that what was conceived in Mary was from the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20-21). An angel appeared to the shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:8-14). This message was one of hope (a savior for the world) and love (God gifting us with his only Son).

14. South Allegheny Junior Class -- Cindy’s Memorial Bark Park: South Allegheny’s Junior Class collected donations for the proposed dog park in Port Vue (Cindy’s Memorial Bark Park). The tree is decorated with dog - themed items that will also be donated. Anyone wishing to support the cause can place supplies under the tree. Monetary donations can be mailed to the South Allegheny High School Junior Class Bark Park at 2732 Washington Blvd, McKeesport 15133

15. White Oak Athletic Association -- Today’s Children, Tomorrow’s Future: The White Oak Athletic Association, WOAA, was founded back in 1956. The goal of the organization has been to provide a well-organized sports program for the young people of White Oak and surrounding communities. Thru the years as White Oak has grown and the activities appealed to more and more people, so did participation. There are literally hundreds of children of all ages that participate in some sort of sports program at WOAA. We offer baseball, softball, soccer, basketball and cheer-leading to name a few. Our Community Center and Gymnasium are used year round for both youth and adult activities, as well as other recreational activities. Our board and program leaders strive to make each year a rewarding experience for our children by providing quality programs for our children to excel. It is our goal for our participants to play in a safe and moral atmosphere and to develop not only as athletes but as quality young people as well.

16. Hungarian Embroidery Group -- Hearts of Hungary: Our Hungarian group decided this year to make homemade Hungarian embroidery art work on hearts: some are ornaments and some are pincushions. The designs are all original designs of Hungary.

17. Joyful Bloomers Garden Club -- “2 Good 2 Bee 4 Gotten”: 2 Good 2 Bee 4 Gotten is our theme and it’s so true. The plight of the endangered honey bee will affect everyone -- yes you! So we made the bees upon the tree connecting lots of pollen, from flowers we made for hours and hours out of tissue paper and cotton. Remember chemicals kill the bees but makes stores lots of money, we need to protect the bees that pollinate crops and make honey. we wanted to draw attention this year as we did last, So check it out, it’s no joke, the bees are dying fast. Bee Merry--Bee Bright--Bee in the know. The Joyful Bloomers Garden Club

18. Joyful Bloomers Garden Club Juniors -- “Butterflies are Pollinators Too”: Coffee filter butterflies adorn our Christmas tree. Beautiful pollinators are there for you and me. They sit upon the flowers, made of colored paper tissue. A Christmas filled with love and peace, that’s what the Jrs. wish you.

19. Garden Club of McKeesport -- Garden Angel: The Garden Club of McKeesport tree this year depicts the Garden Angel. She watches over the garden and all who work so hard to keep the garden beautiful. The tree is her skirt, she has hydrangeas for hair, her skirt is decorated with white flowers and shimmering snowflakes for winter in the garden.

20. McKeesport Trail Commission -- “Happy Trails”: The McKeesport Trails are available for use year round. Riders and walkers need to exercise caution and watch for deep snow, icy spots, and trees that might block the trail. If the snow is not too deep, winter athletes can make use of their cross-country skis and snowshoes. Most bicycles can be ridden in the snow as long as it is not too deep. Otherwise, walking and hiking on the trails in winter can be an invigorating experience. Welcome to McKeesport Trail Commission’s 2016 Tree Entry, “Happy Trails” set in a winter wonderland of red and white accented by an old friend and friendly woodland creatures. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY TRAILS.

21. Kiwanis Club of McKeesport -- A Kiwanis Global Christmas: Kiwanis of McKeesport- White Oak is a global organization, helping one child at a time. We have met in McKeesport the same time every week since 1922.

22. Craig Family Funeral Home -- Hearts of Gold: The Hearts of Gold tree is dedicated to the Police, Firefighters, and EMS Personnel for giving help to everyone with no regard to personal injury.

23. McKeesport Lions Club -- 100 Years of Service: Lions are a patriotic group. The tree displays flags, eyeglasses, Lions Centennial logos and Lions International symbols. The Club collects used eyeglasses that are cleaned, prescriptions read and shipped to 3rd world countries for fittings for individuals. The Club also accepts applications from low-income residents for eye exams and eyeglasses assistance.

24. Home Gardener’s Guild -- Santa’s Helpers: We are using natural materials as a basis for our decorations. Santa’s elves are made from harvested pine cones of various shapes and sizes. The Home Gardener’s Guild met and worked together to create “Santa’s Little Helpers."

25. Allegheny Land Trust -- Dead Man’s Hollow: for the Birds: Dead Man’s Hollow - a 450 acre conservation area in McKeesport offers miles of hiking/biking trails and a unique habitat benefit to birds through its large interior forest, a rarity in the highly developed and fragmented landscape of Allegheny County. Bird species such as the Louisiana Waterthrush, Scarlet Tanager, and Acadian Flycatcher depend on such habitat. This tree is dedicated to all these wondrous, winged creatures (over 50 species!) that call Dead Man’s Hollow home throughout the year. They fill our skies with color and ears with song. The pine cones are from the Hollow, along with the red berries, dried goldenrod, and Queen’s Anne’s Lace. The birdseed ornaments are volunteer-made and can be placed on trees to feed area birds. Ribbon around the tree features the names of the 7 current and 5 future trails being built to provide hikers an opportunity to spot the many bird species. Allegheny Land trust is working with volunteer and partner organizations to improve habitat conditions for birds and create more recreation opportunities for visitors. Email Keri at krouse@alleghenylandtrust.org or visit alleghenylandtrust.org for more information.

26. Founders’ Hall Pre-K Counts, Tiger Tots -- “There is Snowplace better than Pre-K”: It’s true...there is “Snowplace like Pre-K”. Pre-school at MASD is an all season wonderland of learning for future success in school and life. There is a blizzard of excitement for learning and a flurry of new experiences. Each student is like a snowflake, unique and beautiful ready to explore a world of possibilities. Let it Snow!

27. Cub Scout Pack 53 -- Scouts Christmas Thanks to First Responders & Military: Cub Scout Pack 53 thanks our First Responders & Military for all they do for our community and for all the sacrifices they make to help protect us every day.

28. South Allegheny Spanish IV and V Class -- Futbol en Espana: The Spanish IV and V classes from South Allegheny have created a “Futbol En Espana” tree. Futbol or soccer as we call it in the United States is the most popular sport in Spain. The tree is decorated with handmade ornaments featuring three teams in La Liga: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, and Barcelona. La Liga is the top professional association in the Spanish Futbol League system.

29. South Allegheny French IV Class -- Le Noel: French Christmas Traditions: South Allegheny French IV class is creating a tree based on France’s Christmas traditions. Please read the explanation cards attached to the ornaments to learn about different cultural traditions. From Pere Noel to Pere Fouettard and the little “sabots”; enjoy a French Christmas ! ( Le Noel)

30. North Versailles Public Library -- North Versailles Public Library Tree: The North Versailles Public Library Staff, Cindy, Bev, Kim, and Denise, decided to display some of our books as a Christmas tree. We invite you to visit us at the library to check out a book, or come to Story Time, Lego Club, Adult Book Club, or any of our other programs. So discover your local library, and it will be like Christmas every day! Please call 412-823-222 or visit our website (www.northversailleslibrary.org) or more information about our programs.

31. State Representative Marc Gergely -- Pennsylvania Woodlands: State Representative Marc Gergely’s Pennsylvania Woodlands tree is meant to inspire you to get out into the woods and enjoy what nature in Pennsylvania has to offer. Each season brings a new experience. From the winter snow, with frozen waters and bare trees, to the promise in spring - fishing, hunting, hiking, bird watching, witnessing Mother Natures’ color show in the fall... Pennsylvania has it all!

32. State Senator Jim Brewster: Senator Brewster is proud to represent the 38 communities that make up the 45th Senatorial District! Each community is represented on a decorated stocking and all are hung with care. Along with the stockings, here are various festive holiday ornaments and bright white lights that fill the tree with holiday cheer. The tree topper is the Seal of the Senate of Pennsylvania surrounded by festive holiday bows. State Senator Jim Brewster wishes everyone a wonderful holiday season and a safe, happy and healthy New Year.

33. South Allegheny Middle School Life Skills -- Abominable Snowman: The Abominable Snowman tree was created by the South Allegheny Life skills Class and the middle school Peer Mentors. The students chose some of their favorite characters from Christmas movies. We then voted on the characters to see which character they wanted to create.

34. NAMI McKeesport Area -- National Alliance on Mental Illness, McKeesport Area Affiliate: The concept of this tree is to make the public aware of the NAMI support group in the McKeesport area. The purpose of NAMI is to support, educate, and promote advocacy for families of people with mental illness. Members of NAMI McKeesport Area decided to enter a tree this year, decorated with green ornaments. Green is the signature color of the campaign to stamp out STIGMA from mental illness, which affects one in every five Americans. This group meets monthly at Penn State Greater Allegheny.

35. JMD Cancer Resource Center -- Jodie Matta Dillinger Cancer Center Tree: Our tree is an inspirational tree in honor of cancer patients and their families. Each ribbon represents a specific type of cancer. The crochet bells were handmade by Julia Love who was a breast cancer survivor. The Angels of Hope are handmade ornaments that were made to honor people who have or had cancer. The JMD Cancer Resource Center is located on Level D of UPMC McKeesport. We provide a variety of free services to cancer patients and their families. For more information, visit us online at www.jmdf.net or contact us at 412-664-2664. Please take a ribbon from the basket that represents a type of cancer that you are a loved one might have had.

36. Beulah Park United Methodist Church -- Jesus is our Superhero: This is the theme for this year’s summer program as well.

37. Christy Park United Methodist Church -- Poinsettias & Snowflakes: We’re all individuals but we’re bound by Christ. Snowflakes represent individuals, no two people are alike. Poinsettias are the blood of Christ that bind us together and unite us.

38. Park Baptist Church -- Old Time Religion: The inspiration is to keep Christ in Christmas. With the mess of this world people tend to forget what the tree meaning of Christmas is. We choose white decor because it symbolizes purity, joy, and gentleness which are all characteristics of our Lord and Savior. The pages are from a song book: Old Fashioned Revival Hour. The Nativity: the Birth of Jesus. The Church: a building for Christian worship and fellowship. The Cross: a Christian believes that death is the path to life.

39. Angora Gardens Juniors -- “The First Glistening Snow in our Garden”: What’s more delightful than the first snow of the season? It coats our shrubs, forgotten perennials and misplaced garden tools with a dusting of snowy white. Our tree is decorated with handmade ornaments, dried flowers, and projects made during our monthly Junior Gardening classes at Angora Gardens. We hope to remind you of the simple beauty of the wintertime garden. Check Angora Gardens Facebook page for our classes resuming in 2017. They are free.

40. McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center -- The First Schoolhouse: McKeesport’s first schoolhouse, built in 1832, is located at the McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center.

41. St Agnes School -- Jesus is the Reason: In today’s society consumerism is so overtaking that so often the true reason for the celebration of Christmas is often forgotten or overlooked. Our tree ornaments are all made by our students from preschool through 8th grade. All of the ornaments decorating the tree are related to Jesus and the first Christmas. May the Christ Child of that very first Christmas bless you during this season and in 2017. Merry Christmas to all.

42. Eden Park Roller Rink -- Our tree represents our family Roller Rink: We use ornaments and decor to give out tree a “nostalgic feel” for all the former Eden Park Roller Rink skaters who still remains a kid at heart. Our tree is a spin-off of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer which includes lights and other roller rink memorabilia. This tree was presented by Sherri, Ryleigh, Karyl, Avan, Tiffany and Jade Mellon.

43. Girl Scouts: Junior Troop 52303 & Daisy Troop 52913 -- Girls are Made of Sugar And Spice And Everything Nice: This is a tree full of sweets by Girl Scout Juniors and Daisies.

44. Cheyenne’s Project Christmas -- The Giving Tree: My name Cheyenne Burns, a junior at MASH, and I decided in 2013 to provide Christmas to children who might not otherwise have one. Together with family and friends we pulled off a feast in 6 weeks. The first year was such a success I decided to make it an annual event. Each year we provide dinner, presents and a visit to Santa Claus, provided through 100% donations, to many children. I decided to create this tree because it describes what my project is all about. It is incredible to watch children sit on Santa lap to get their presents and enjoy all our festival activities. For further information feel free to me at cheyennesprojectchristmas@Comcast.net

45. McKeesport WIC -- Happy Healthy Holidays: The tree is designed to show some examples of the healthy food choices the WIC program provides, which will include some items from Turners Dairy.

46. Stay Safe McClure/Twin Rivers -- Crafty Christmas: The Stay Safe Students got creative this year with our tree. Each student made their own ornaments out of popsicle sticks and then used a variety of decorations to embellish them. Each ornament shows the child’s creativity and, in some cases, own personality. We chose this tree to give the children the chance to showcase their craftiness and really show off a homemade crafty Christmas tree.

47. McKeesport High School Student Council -- Mardi Gras Tree: McKeesport High School Student Council would like to invite you into the traditions of South Louisiana. For most, January is the time to toss out their Christmas tree. But, in South Louisiana, January 6th - the Epiphany, is also known as 12th Night, the start of Carnival. At this time, they take down their Christmas ornaments and start to hang the beads they collect at the various parades on their trees. Our tree this year is entitled: “Mardi Gras Tree” and is intended to represent and honor these traditions.

48. Curves Of East McKeesport and North Versailles -- “O Healthy Tree, O Healthy Tree”: At Curves our mission is to not only improve our member’s fitness levels but to change the way they eat. We give them the tools to live a healthy life. Our tree reflects this process. It is decorated with healthy fruits and vegetables. The scale and tape measuring garland represents the pounds and inches lost at Curves. We will be donating a FREE WEEK to all attendees to start the New Year Healthy.

49. Mon Valley School -- Aim High, Achieve Greatness: Concept: The concept is a quote from Walt Disney’s Movie (Dumbo) “The very things that hold you down are going to lift you up”, by Timothy Mouse. Group involved: the students of Mon Valley. The students at Mon Valley School are consistently learning new ways to achieve their goals, and are willing to try new ideas to help them achieve their dreams and reach their fullest potential for their future. The reason we chose the mouse on the tree was to represent our students challenges. The students learn to overcome them by aiming high and achieving greatness to reach their full potential in life.

50. AIU McKeesport Family Center -- Families Building Brighter Futures: McKeesport Family Center Parent council members met and developed this theme for our tree this year. We recognize the families we serve and the importance of strengthening the family, nurturing our children to ensure our ability to build a strong community for a Brighter Future for all.

51. Carnegie Library of McKeesport -- “The Nutcracker”: Celebrate the union of music and storytelling with the Carnegie Library of McKeesport’s tree, “The Nutcracker”. The tree features ornamentation evocative of the classic story. We chose the theme for its combination of elegance and nostalgia, along with its ability to tell a story through music, a rare and powerful means of sharing stories.

52. South Allegheny SADD -- Drug Awareness: The idea of this tree is to raise awareness against drug use. We are South Allegheny’s SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and we want to raise drug and alcohol awareness. The ornaments will be red ribbons (the symbol for drug awareness), silver bulbs with drug facts (statistics, life expectancy, life quality), and white lights. We want to raise drug awareness, even if we help one person, it is a victory for us.

53. Gazda Insurance Agency -- Present Eating Tree: Santa Beware, this tree is a scare! This monster tree has an appetite for presents, but he just wants to join in the holiday cheer. We wanted to create a tree that was festive, but also a little silly. Most of the adornments are handmade to achieve the final creature’s look.

54. Propel McKeesport -- Sending Peace & Love to Someone Who Needs It This Holiday Season: Sixth grade students at Propel McKeesport have a lot to be thankful for. This holiday season they are sending messages of peace and love to someone who needs some exam love and happiness this time of year. Our students hope these messages will bring a smile to someone’s face. We hope that you can help us spread love & peace this holiday season.

55. McKeesport Area School District Central Administration -- Whoo’s Ready to Read?: Meet mama Echo and baby Echo the mascot for our new K-2nd grade reading program called Wilson Foundations. This program emphasizes the following areas while making learning to read fun: phonic awareness - phonics/word study - high frequency word study - vocabulary comprehension strategies - spelling.

56. Altrusa International of McKeesport, Inc. -- Altrusa - 75 Years and Counting: Altrusa International of McKeesport, Inc. is celebrating 75 years as a service organization in McKeesport. Our tree - 75 Years and Counting - is decorated with school supplies for our little learners such as number recognition, counting, addition and subtraction, and telling time. Ribbons and bows feature the Altrusa colors of teal, grey, gold, and red. Happy Holidays from Altrusa as we continue our commitment to community service for another 75 years!

57. McKeesport College Club -- Santa’s Helpers: The McKeesport College Club was founded in 1921 and supports our area with 96 years of Community Service and volunteer work. Our tree is decorated with Santa caps which proudly display the many organizations we have helped with our community projects through the years. Festive red and white ornaments adorn the tree. Happy Holidays from Santa’s Helpers of McKeesport College Club. Ho ho ho!

58. Twin Rivers School -- Seas the Day: Twin Rivers students with the guidance of their art teacher Denise Bollman created a nautical - themed Christmas tree. He said ”There are only two days in the year that nothing can done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe and mostly live”- Dalai Lama. The intended message is to take time, to live, and appreciate your life along with being the very best you can be every day.

59. Team 1708 Amp’D Robotics -- An Amp’d Christmas: Our theme this year is an Amp’D Christmas, made by the students on Team 1708 Amp’D Robotics at McKeesport High School. This tree is a group effort of the students on the team, showing their creative talent and Christmas Spirit.

60. Francis McClure Primary -- “There’s No App to Replace Your Lap. Read to a Child!”: We decided to create this tree because as teachers we can see the difference in reading and reading skills when children are read to. Research shows that reading to a child drastically increases his/her reading skills and love of reading.

61. Queen Aliquippa Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution -- General Washington’s Crossing on Christmas Day 1776: One of the most famous paintings in American History is that of Washington Crossing the Delaware River by German artist Emmanuel Leutze in 1851. In the Winter of 1776, General Washington and his ragged Continental Army had experienced only defeat and despair. The War for Independence was going badly. Morale was at an all time low among the soldiers. General Washington needed a victory, so he hatched a daring plan to cross the Delaware River at night, march to Trenton and attack the Hessian soldier’s outposts there. Unfortunately , the weather did not cooperate. A bitter winter storm arrived that brought high winds, sleet and snow which made the crossing over dangerous for the Army and much longer to complete. But against all odds, General Washington and his continental Army successfully completed the crossing and marched into Trenton on the morning of December 26, 1776, where they were victorious over the Hessians. Our tree will be decorated with copies of this famous painting, along with other artwork depicting these events. White lights, red white and blue ornaments along with the Daughters of the American Revolution Insignia will complete our tree.

62. Francis McClure 5th Grade ACE -- The Hanukkah Tree: Our fifth grade ACE program at McClure Intermediate is presently studying the country of Israel. During this learning experience, we talk about the holiday of Hanukkah which takes place at this time of year. The students will prepare ornaments to reflect this happy holiday.

63. Christ Temple AME Church -- “Oh Taste His Grace and See”: Psalm 34:8 Oh Taste the Lord and see that He is good” , “Like Sugar plums dancing in your head.” With the thought of the taste of sugar plums at this season, think of the Lord in the same way. The very thought of how good He has been to us all year puts a sweet taste in our mouths even better than sugar plums. The treats on the tree are like candy from heaven.

64. Mon Yough Community Services, Vocational Program -- Bee A Star!: Mon Yough Community Services strives to provide World Class Customer Care by having staff “Bee Caring” “Bee Courteous” “Bee Confidential”. When the staff exhibit this type of care to all the customers they interface with, they become stars. The MYCS Vocational Services Department provide their customers with the best possible care by following this World Class Customer Care Model.

65. ELECT ( Teen Parenting) -- Disney Theme: The tree will be done by teen parents that are still in high school. The tree will be Disney-themed, it will represent their children.

66. Semper Fidelis Club of McKeesport -- Lifting As We Climb for 97 Years: The Semper Fidelis Club of McKeesport has been promoting and mentoring education, providing scholarships and contributing to community service for ninety seven (97) years. This tree will reflect persons involved in the aforementioned aspects since our inception and throughout the years until the present.

67. Brightside Academy -- Brightside Express: Our tree this year is called the Brightside Express. We are doing a holiday family night centered around the Polar Express and decided to create a train themed tree.”Although I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me as it does for all the truly still BELIEVE”. Something that we cherish is the innocence of our children! Each of our age groups created ornaments for the tree with the help of all our teachers.

68. Mayor’s Select Committee on Crime & Violence -- Mayor’s Select Committee on Crime and Violence, “Living the Message”: Carrying out the city-wide theme of “Respect, Dignity, Hope and Love,” the McKeesport Message Committee (a subgroup of the Mayor’s Select Committee on Crime and Violence) hopes festival-goers will take a bracelet from this tree and share the city’s message. The tree also highlights community members who have received ”Living the Message” awards.

69. Highland Grove Task Force: This tree, designed by Mark Ethridge, Linda Ethridge, and Tracie Wertz, is to inspire everyone to be involved in our community.

70. McKeesport City Hall Employees -- McKeesport City Hall, “July in Christmas”: We all know of the phrase, “Christmas in July,” but have you ever heard of “July in Christmas?” McKeesport’s City Hall staff is focusing this year’s Christmas tree on recreational highlights from a great summer in Renziehausen Park. With state-of-the art facilities and fresh ideas, Renzie Park was a hub for summer fun in 2016.

71. McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko -- “Working Together for a Better McKeesport”: The theme of “Working Together for a Better McKeesport” is much more than a slogan. It’s an invitation for every member of the McKeesport community to be part of the great things happening in our city. Decorated in an orange and black construction theme, this tree reflects Mayor Cherepko’s campaign to build a better community for everyone to enjoy.

72. Fawcett Plan Task Force -- Children Light Up Your Lives: At the “Night Out” Night the children decorated Christmas lights.

73. South Allegheny Art 3 -- Tetrahedral Laser Light Christmas Tree: The South Allegheny Art 3 Class has designed a Christmas tree like a tetrahedral kite. The Tetrahedral kite was invented by Alexander Graham Bell for early experimentation with manned flight.. Using the components of STEAM education, Art 3 has designed a Christmas tree composed of green, red, white tetrahedral shaped cells. Using string, straws, tissue paper and zip ties, the class has created a tetrahedral Christmas tree. Due to the light weight nature of the design, the tree is lit with laser Christmas lights.

74. Girl Scout Troop 58112 -- Saving the Planet One Christmas Tree At a Time: We are proud to say that our tree is 95% recyclable! Our ornaments were made from recycled or repurposed materials such as tuna cans, soda cans, light bulbs, and puzzle pieces - just to name a few. Wait until you see what we used to make the tree itself! All of the ornaments were made by our Girl Scout troop which consists of Brownies and Juniors ages 11 and under. They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure - why can’t it be a Christmas tree?

75. McKeesport City Council -- Pride in McKeesport Starts With Us: McKeesport City Council tree represents pride in the city of McKeesport. Having pride and hope in our city starts with us as the leaders. It is decorated in red, white and blue ornaments.

76. McKeesport Police Department -- “Peace and Love for the Police”: The police department’s tree offers support to our brothers and sisters in blue. It features badges and hearts surrounded by blue lights.

77. McKeesport Fire Department -- McKeesport Fire Department, “Toys for Children”: The fire department’s entry features fire trucks and gift ornaments with a surprise helper under the tree.

78. Corpus Christi Parish Religious Education Program -- Happy Birthday Jesus: We made handcrafted ornaments to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

79. McKeesport Business & Professional Women -- The Candy Tree: The McKeesport Business & Professional Women’s Club submits their entry of “The Candy Tree”. Now in their 86th Club year, the members made ornaments from mints, popcorn and cranberry garland, and candy canes. BPW is wishing everyone a “Sweet Holiday Season”

80. Toastmasters -- Be A Star: Toastmasters gives everyone a chance to become a star by teaching communication and leadership skills! Come check our nonprofit club on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month at Faith Lutheran Church, 1656 Lincoln Way, White Oak, Pa or call 412-527-6600.

81. Kings Kids Barbershop -- The Barbershop Tree: The concept of our tree will be a barbershop theme. The name of our business is The Kings Kids Barbershop. The King is the Lord and all who come are his children. Tree was done by Russell, Denise, & Ariana Spence, and Joni Baines.

82. Mary of Nazareth Catholic School -- We are the Saints: The students of Mary of Nazareth Catholic School in White Oak are proud to share our “Tree of Saints” with you. As members of the Communion of Saints, we strive to live our lives as Jesus did in love and service of others. Each handmade ornament represents a saint in heaven or on earth. We especially honor our patron saint, Mary of Nazareth, whose baby child Jesus is the reason we celebrate this special holiday. Have a blessed Christmas!

83. Romine Shelter Group Home (Auberle) -- Penguin Paradise: The Romine Shelter children, Romine Shelter Staff, and AIU teachers at Auberle proudly present Penguin Paradise. The concept for our tree was the result of creative collaboration and is linked to the learning of the students. This tree was designed to allow the students and staff to be creative and to help us embrace the spirit of the season. We hope our ‘Penguin Paradise helps make your holiday season cool.

84. Eat’n Park Restaurant -- An Eat’n Park Classic!: The tree from our famous and family favorite commercial comes to life with the simplicity of what Christmas is all about. With all the craziness the world has seen lately, we wanted to keep it simple and carefree with a smile!


Trees at the McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center

85. High Victorian

86. Patriotic Lady

87. Lady In Red

88. Winter Forest

89. Old World Charm

Originally published December 01, 2016.

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