(Tube City Almanac file photos by Denise L. Ritter)
The ornaments are being hung and the lights are being tested at Jacob Woll Pavilion in Renziehausen Park as preparations come down to the wire for McKeesport's 32nd annual Festival of Trees.
A celebration of the holidays --- and the creativity of local groups and churches --- the festival opens at 12 noon Thursday and continues through Monday, with more than 80 Christmas trees on display, mostly featuring handmade decorations honoring a variety of themes.
Admission is $2 for adults. Children age 12 and under are admitted free with one canned good for a needy family.
Local Girl Scout troops will sing carols and hymns at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday when McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko and other city officials hold a tree-lighting ceremony near the intersection of Sycamore and Arboretum drives in the park, a spokesperson said. Santa Claus is scheduled to arrive on a city fire truck.
"Sleigh-hay" rides will deliver visitors from Jacob Woll Pavilion to the nearby McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center, where additional trees and activities are available.
In addition, the Garden Club of McKeesport will hold a holiday sale of greens and crafts from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and from 12 noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. The club is located adjacent to the rose garden.
Seasonal entertainment will continue throughout the festival on a stage at Jacob Woll.
A complete entertainment schedule and list of this year's trees follows.
- 12:30 p.m. - AIU Community Singers
- 6:30 p.m. - Girl Scout Troops Sing for Lighting of the Outside Tree
- 6:45 p.m. - Joey Young
- 4 p.m. - West Mifflin Area High School Titan Chorale
- 5 p.m. - Cathasaigh
- 7 p.m. - Joey Young
- 12:30 p.m. - Abraham's Promise
- 2 p.m. - St. Angela Merici Church Choir
- 3:30 p.m. - Daughters of His Grace
- 5 p.m. - Chalice
- 7 p.m. - Signs of Faith
- 1 p.m. - Bill Barnes
- 2 p.m. - Heartbeat
- 4 p.m. - Ed Lutheran
- 6 p.m. - Miss Vickie's String instruments
- 7 p.m. - Christ Temple Children's Choir
- 12:30 p.m. - McKeesport Area High School Show Choir
- 1 p.m. - McKeesport Area High School Chamber Strings
- 1:30 p.m. - McKeesport Area High School Jazz Band & Brass Emsemble
List of Trees
(All descriptions submitted by entrants)
#1 Strifflers Family Funeral Homes - Beloved Pet Services by Strifflers
- 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 a later date after the Festival ends.
#2 White Oak 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.
#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 Strifflers 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.
#5 McKeesport Eat'n Park "One Twisted Classic"
- A handmade twist on an Eat'n Park Classic. Simple, yet elegant --- it's a beautiful rendition of the animated Christmas tree that's captivated thousands of people, young & old, for years.
#6 McKeesport Art Group - A Little Elf Help
- These two elves are busy helping Santa decorate his North Pole tree. Wouldn't it be nice to have a "little elf help" to decorate your tree?
#7 The Well Ministries - - And His Name Shall Be Called
- Our tree is decorated with handmade machine embroidered ornaments that have various names of God on them.
#8 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 Booth 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 in themselves, so they can have increased self esteem to better their lives, their neighborhoods, and their community. Please feel free to take one of our buttons off the tree.
#9 Park Baptist Church - Wordless Tree
- The theme of the tree this year was inspired by Pastor Rudy's teaching of the "Wordless Book" to the children of Park Baptist Church. Dave and Judy Campbell, and grandson Joseph Ruffing, put their resources together to create the "Wordless Tree" - made from shipping pallets. The hand-made decorations of colors on the tree gives the Salvation message.
- Gold - Star Toppers for Rev 21:21 "The great street of Heaven is made from pure gold." Jesus is there as it is God's home. John 10:10 Jesus says "I come that they might have life and have it more abundantly."
- Black - Clear bulbs filled with black licorice - We all sin against God. Romans 3:23 "all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory."
- Red - Fresh cranberries strung on fishing line signifies the life and death of Jesus Christ and what he did for us on the cross.
- White - tree , lights, and snowflakes: Jesus can take your dark heart and because of the cross he can cleanse it and make it white.
- Green - glittered Christmas trees for when a person is born again, they find a church where they can serve the Lord and grow spiritually.
#10 Mon Valley School - Exceptional Emojis
- Our inspiration for this year's tree came from the Emoji. The Emoji is a small digital image or icon to express an idea, an emotion and a feeling. Mon Valley is a school for students with special needs, ranging from ages 5 to 21. Our students are Autistic, Down's Syndrome, visually and hearing impaired, and multiple physical disabilities that have difficulty to communicate. The students that are non-verbal have used a system called "PECS," which is a picture association program to assist the students to communicate their everyday needs, their emotions, and their feelings. Evolving with today's technology, our students are also learning to use "Emojis" to express themselves by making their emotions come to life in their own unique way. By choosing their favorite emojis, our students have transformed this year's Festival of Trees into a 3D image of "Exceptional Emojis".
#11 South Allegheny High School - Art 3 - Yarn Bomb Christmas Tree
- We are thinking outside the box - how to create an actual tree, not just decorations. It is a 6.5' tall PVC pipe tree that has been yarn bombed with hand-knitted , woven, and loomed yarn to make a colorful tree.
#12 McKeesport Little Tigers - McKeesport Little Tigers
- Our tree features players, cheerleaders, and the coaches from the 2017 Football Season.
#13 JMD Cancer Resource Center - Wings of Hope
- The JMD Cancer Resource Center and our JMD supporters will display a holiday lighted tree that will be decorated with butterflies. Each butterfly will have a memorial to people who lost their battle with cancer. It will also have butterflies in honor of people who are presently coping with cancer.
#14 Joyful Bloomers Junior Garden Club - Into the Woods
- This tree is created by the Joyful Bloomers Junior Garden Club. We decided on this concept in keeping with things which are rustic or what you would find that reminds you of things that look woodsy.
#15 Joyful Bloomers Garden Club - Nature's Noel
- What shall we put on our Christmas tree? We'll sing the praises of nature. Our Joyful Bloomers Gardening Club is embracing the wonders of nature -- weeds and all! Our ornaments are bouquets of dried flowers and native plants placed in a music sheet cone. We also added hydrangea blooms, a pine cone garland, and burlap to finish our "Nature's Noel" inspired tree.
#16 Carnegie Library of McKeesport - Carnegie Library of McKeesport Knitters
- All decorations are hand- knitted. Some decorations are made by the children at the library with the help of the knitters. The Carnegie Library knitting group makes hats for the local cancer patients and for those in need. They have recently expanded their inventory to included leg warmers which they donate to senior care facilities.
#17 FHRC Embroidery Group - Hungarian Dancing Queen
- Our spinning Hungarian girl is dressed in a traditional embroidered outfit.
#18 Eden Park Roller Rink - Community Keeps the Wheels Rolling
- The reason we keep the rink open is so we can keep the kids young and enjoy rolling.
#19 McKeesport Kiwanis - Kiwanis Global Tree
- Our tree features blue and gold decor with candy canes and pictures of children.
#20 McKeesport Trail Commission - "Frozen Trails" Family Traditions
- The McKeesport Trail Commission tree committee was inspired by the movie "Olaf's Frozen Adventure." Olaf sets out on a mission to learn about family holiday traditions in his Scandinavian homeland, only to discover the best tradition of all is FAMILY and the special holiday memories that they make together. The tree decorating committee included Sharon Soles, chairperson; and Bobbi Billsborrow, Joyce MacGregor, Regis Mellinger, Alison Piccolino and Gina Rosso.
#21 Carnegie Library of McKeesport - The Tree of Christmas Past
- The ornaments are meant to evoke a Victorian Era motif that brings out an old-time, nostalgic feeling for the joys of Christmas Past; with inspirations like Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol. The connection between literary works and Christmas is clear and strong.
#22 McKeesport Charge Beulah Park Campus - The "Christmas Shoe" Tree
- We are decorating with new shoes and socks that will be donated to the school district for anyone that may need shoes.
#23 Salvation Army - Salvation Army Kettle Tree
- Our idea for a tree this year is to capture the spirit of charity and mission to meet human needs in our community. We have decided to transform a red kettle stand into a "tree" as a tribute to the iconic theme of "giving to the poor" through the Salvation Army. The tree will have information available on the various programs and services we offer to the McKeesport community as well as how to donate to our charitable cause.
#24 Girl Scout Troop #52959
- Mary of Nazareth Catholic School's Girl Scout Troop #52959 is dedicated to making our earth a better place. We are trying to save the world, one plastic bottle at a time. All decorations on our tree are made from plastic bottles and recycled materials.
#25 Brightside Academy McKeesport - A Trolls' Christmas
- Our center is Brightside Academy McKeesport. We serve children ages infant to twelve. Each of our classes either made a decoration for the tree or added ideas. We decided to make this Trolls tree this year because our children love the movie and we feel the trolls bring brightness and happiness for the coming year.
#26 Auberle Romine Group Home - "Twas the Night Before Christmouse"
- The children at the Romine Group home along with their staff and teachers are going to take a look at the classic children's story "Twas the Night Before Christmas."
#27 Faith Lutheran Church - Any Way You Say It - The Language of Grace
- 2017 marked the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. At the heart of the Reformation and the heart of Christmas is Grace. Grace is the free gift of God''s love for us. This tree is a celebration of Grace. The ornaments have the words "Grace" or God's Grace" in various languages. All are decorated by members of the congregation.
#28 The Garden Club of McKeesport - Christmas Magic
- The Garden Club of McKeesport tree this year depicts Christmas Magic. The Christmas Princess Flora sits at the top of the tree and uses her wand to create Christmas Magic that brings the flowers and blossoms to life in the garden. The garland has small bouquets to accent the Christmas ornaments where flowers continue to bloom. The reindeer are made of hydrangeas which watch over Christmas Princess Flora and the garden.
#29 McKeesport College Club - McKeesport College Club/All Star/Professional Women
- McKeesport College Club wanted to celebrate our members roles as professional women in the community. The tree will be adorned with silver, blue, and white stars highlighting these professions (teacher, nurse, attorney etc.) and silver and white balls. A ribbon garland and a star topper will complete our theme.
#30 Cub Scout Pack #53 - A Scouty Christmas
- The tree depicts Christmas through the twelve qualities of the Scout Law.
#31 North Versailles Public Library - O Reading Tree! O Reading Tree! Your Words Are So Engaging!
- From the North Versailles Public Library, Bev and Kim 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, new release family movie night, movie matinee for adults, adult coloring club, or any of our special programs. So discover your local library, and it will be like Christmas every day! Please call 412-823-2222 or visit our website (www.northversailleslibrary.org) for more information about our programs.
#32 East McKeesport Meals on Wheels - East Allegheny Meals on Wheels.
- This tree is sponsored by East Allegheny Meals on Wheels located at Linway United Presbyterian Church. Our tree is decorated with objects signifying our organization - church, cars, and food items to showcase the items our clients receive everyday.
#33 Borough of Versailles - Let it Begin With Me
- Christmas is a time to reflect and remember that one person can indeed change the world. The employees and elected officials hope our tree helps people think about how important our attitudes and actions are. We believe that each and everyone of us has the power to create a positive force in our community.
#34 McKeesport Family Center - MistleToes and Holly
- Our families enjoyed capturing their "little ones" feet and decorating them as Mistletoes. After the Festival of Trees is over, the families will be able to take them home and have their keepsake ornament for their own tree. We treasure our little angels at the McKeesport Family Center.
#35 City of 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 a 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.
#36 Employees Of McKeesport City Hall - "Let It Snow"
- The staff of McKeesport City Hall invites Festival of Trees attendees to enjoy scenes from around McKeesport through whimsical, handmade snow globes. Take a look at images from Renziehausen Park and other popular locations.
#37 Mayor's Select Committee on Crime & 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 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.
#38 McKeesport High School - Team 1708 Amp'd Robotics -- An Engineer's Christmas
- Team 1708, Amp'D Robotics presents An Engineer's Christmas. This years tree features the Christmas Spirit as seen through the eyes of young engineers from the McKeesport High School Robotics Team.
#39 Francis McClure Elementary - Holiday Bells
- The students of Francis McClure Elementary were asked to decorate a holiday bell for this year's Festival of Trees.
#40 Girl Scout Troops #46659, #52332, #46595 - A Year In The Life Of Juliette
- We are celebrating the life of our founder Juliette Gordon Low with the "A Year In The Life of Juliette" tree. Our inspiration came from the national Girl Scout patch program which our troops are completing this year. This program focuses on the important work that Juliette did and the values that she encouraged in Girl Scouting. Each month has a different topic relating to something important to Juliette Gordon Low.
#41 Angora Gardens Junior Gardening - Bunnies at The Gardens
- Our one-of-a-kind bunnies represent the uniqueness of each child in the Junior Gardening classes at Angora Gardens in White Oak. The handmade edible ornaments will be donated to a local shelter that accepts rabbits that are abused or neglected. The bunny-safe ornaments will provide enrichment during the wintery months ahead. Although Angora Gardens no longer has the rehabilitation program involving the care of rabbits for clients, many visits by "rabbit wranglers" during special events will allow interaction. Come visit soon and attend our gardening classes. Information is provided on "Angora Gardens" Facebook page, and you might just see some rabbits roaming the beautiful flower gardens for a little snack while you are visiting.
#42 Nuttall Public Safety Equipment, LLC - Thin Line Tree
- This tree was made to commemorate policemen and firemen who have died in the line of duty. There were 143 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2016. As of June 2017, such deaths were up 30% versus the same period in 2016. According to U.S. Fire Administration there have been 80 Firefighter fatalities reported in 2017.
#43 McKeesport Business & Professional Womens Club - The Red Nosed Tree
- The McKeesport Business & Professional Women got creative with the holiday "red nose" idea borrowed from Rudolph. The noses are on the garland, several reindeer ornaments are used as bases for other handmade ornaments.
#44 Mon Yough Community Services - Faces of Mon Yough
- This tree represents the creativity of the clients of Mon Yough. Ornaments were made of recycled cards donated from local businesses, scraps of yearn and other bits and pieces gathered at their day program. The clients range in age from 20 to 82 and all helped.
#45 CANOES Afterschool Program - Twin Rivers Elementary/MASD - Christmas in Canoes
- These handmade ornaments were created by the kindergarten through third grade children in the Twin Rivers CANOES with children analyzing, navigating, observing, and experimenting with science in the afterschool program. CANOES offers students academic support and enrichment opportunities focused around STREAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics). Enjoy viewing the work of our dedicated and talented students.
#46 McKeesport High School - Art Classes - Iconic Angels
- Iconic Angels are based on the work of ceramic artist Aram Hunanyan who creates three-dimensional figurines in a small attic studio in the capitol of Armenia. His angels captured the heart of the teacher and thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to teach the students about icon art and how to proportion a face. The large almond shaped eyes, long narrow noses, and tiny mouths have an endearing quality that melts your soul. It was a great introductory lessons for the fundamentals of art classes and allowed the students to use colored pencils in a more sophisticated manner. Drawing class was able to apply blending and perimeter shading to create an illusion of depth on a flat surface. Ceramics students used relief sculpture methods to add dimension to their slab angels as well as an antiquing technique that gave their angels an "old world" charm. We hope you enjoy our "iconic angel" tree and that our angels will fill your hearts with the Spirit of Christmas.
#47 Altrusa International of McKeesport, Inc. - Marie's Helping Hands
- Altrusa International of McKeesport, Inc. proudly dedicates our 2017 tree to longtime Altrusa member - Marie Race. She was a member since 1952 and served as president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and board director. She loved helping her community. Our tree is decorated with hats, gloves, and scarves that will be donated to the MASD Pre-K Counts classes. Marie loved to add candy canes to our tree. Garland and sparkling ornaments enhance our tree. Marie V Race passed away on September 29, 2017 and McKeesport Altrusa will continue to serve our community in Marie's honor.
#48 Queen Alliquippa Chapter, DAR - "Dedicated Hearts"
- The Queen Alliquippa Chapter's Tree, "Dedicated Hearts," honors all those who volunteer their time, talents, and hearts to help those in need. Our tree will be decorated with heart ornaments along with ornaments in the Queen Alliquippa Chapter colors of red, white, silver, and blue.
The Daughters of the American Revolution Service to America initiative encourages members to become involved in all types of community service. Members volunteer at their local food banks, homeless shelters, make care packages for troops stationed overseas, and many other areas.
#49 St. Agnes School - 150 Acts of Kindness
- St Agnes School is celebrating 150 years of Catholic education in the West Mifflin area. Children attend St. Agnes School from parishes around the area and the school districts of West Mifflin, Steel Valley, Pittsburgh, McKeesport and Duquesne. As our theme for this year's Christmas tree we challenged the students to do 150 acts of kindness. The faculty and staff sewed and stuffed the 150 red and white hearts adorning the tree, the students recorded acts of kindness they either witnessed or experienced, and a faculty member printed the act on the circle attached to the hearts. The red ribbons are recycled from previous years. Everyone had a hand in the making of our tree. So as we celebrate 150 years of Catholic education, we can say our students truly do acts of kindness as seen by our display. Yes, kindness is one of the many virtues we teach our students and it is one of the ways we prepare for the birth of Jesus. You will notice we display a nativity under our tree every year as Jesus is the reason for the season. Merry Christmas to all!
#50 Miss Vickie's String Instruction, LLC - There's Music In The Air
- For a musician, music is as vital to life as the air we breathe! The violin, viola, and cello students at Miss Vickie's String Instruction, LLC have made music a priority in their lives, and they put their creativity to use by making music-themed ornaments for our tree. Many of them shared their thoughts on what music means to them, how it makes them feel, and what it brings to their lives. In making the ornaments, we tried to incorporate old sheet music as much as possible. The sheet music ribbon that wraps around the tree represents "music in the air" as it swirls around us and touches us all. It transcends all barriers -- language, cultural, generational, economic -- and enriches our lives in powerful ways.
#51 Pure Penn - Our First McKeesport Holiday Season
- As a new business, we are excited to be involved with the community and we are grateful for the acceptance of the community. Our tree will be decorated with lights, tinsel, and ornaments in blue and red: the colors of Pure Penn and McKeesport. We will also include ornaments that express our gratitude and appreciation of the community.
#52 Home Gardener's Guild - "Winter Dinner" for our Feathered Friends
- Pine cone ornaments with peanut butter and birdseed, birdseed Christmas ornaments, popcorn and cranberry garland, red birds, blue birds, and white birds.
#53 ELECT (Teen Parenting) - "Walking into Our Future"
- ELECT is a teen parenting program for high school students. The goal of the program is for students to graduate. Our tree will be decorated with baby shoes to describe how the students are walking into their future despite becoming teen parents.
#54 NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness - Did You Know
- Our dedicated NAMI members are a support group of families with a loved ones suffering from mental illness. We offer once a month meetings usually highlighting a speaker. We are dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness through recovery focused support education and advocacy. One in four people experience a mental health disorder each year and most will not receive treatment due to lack of understanding and stigma. NAMI is here to help. We meet the third Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at Penn State, Greater Allegheny - Frable Building, Room 122.
#55 South Allegheny High School - Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.)
- The South Allegheny Club, S.A.D.D., wanted to make a tree that showed a message. S.A.D.D. will be focused around the heroin and opioid epidemic. Our tree will feature facts about the epidemic and a phone number of a call number to help get treatment for anyone to take if needed.
#56 McKeesport First Steps Parenting Program - Snow Buddies
- The tree is decorated with the pictures of the children enrolled in the McKeesport first Steps Parenting Program. The First Steps staff are very proud of the children in our program and we want to show them off.
#57 Propel McKeesport - Sixth Grade - "Wonder"
- Propel McKeesport's Sixth Grade students have chosen to decorate a Christmas tree based on the national bestseller "Wonder," by D.J. Palacio. This is a story about an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. The kindness and courage he exhibits during his challenging middle school years is a heartwarming lesson for both young and old alike. So in this most memorable season of giving, we would like to honor the true meaning of the holiday with thoughtfulness, love, and above all, wonder.
#58 Curves - Watch Your Fat Melt Away!!!
- Members of Curves wanted everyone to know what happens when they join Curves. They watched their fat melt away! Every 30 minutes another woman walks out our door stronger than when she walked in. Strength training helps us control our weight, cholesterol, anxiety, and depression. Plus we sleep better! We are a Silver Sneakers, Active and Fit, Silver and Fit fitness center so our ages range from 10 to 90. Come meet our supportive group of ladies at 1164 Broadway Ave, East McKeesport, Pa 15035, 412-824-3882.
#59 Girl Scout Troop #58112 - You "Glow" Girl
- Our tree is decorated with an assortment of handmade neon ornaments using black lights to make them glow! They were all made by our Scouts who are Brownies, Juniors, and Caddettes. We are proud to say that our troop has doubled in size this year. Our garland includes information that each girl wanted to share about themselves. We believe that girls can do anything they set their minds to, so YOU GLOW GIRL!! Troop 58112 hopes you find what makes you glow!
#60 Francis McClure/Twin Rivers - Stay Safe - Cups and Bottles and Bowls - Oh My!
- The Stay Safe programs of Francis McClure, Twin Rivers and ACCC decided to do something different this year. Our tree is decorated with cups and bowls - all colored with sharpies and then melted in the oven. Each child did their own designs, making each ornament specific and unique to their liking. The bottles were colored also by the students and cut into spirals by an adult. We love how each cup and bowl shows the personality of each student of Stay Safe.
#61 State Senator Jim Brewster
- State Senator Jim 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, there 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 bows. State Senator Jim Brewster wishes everyone a wonderful holiday season and a safe, happy, and healthy New Year.
#62 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 with red, white, and blue ornaments.
#63 McKeesport Area Toastmasters - Game Show
- We wanted to inspire our audience to become the best they can be by joining our nonprofit organization where they can practice communication and leadership skills. Our game show allows people to guess the answers and find the inspiration to join Toastmasters and gain the success they deserve through lots of practice and laughter. McKeesport Toastmasters meet the 2nd and 4th Thursdays 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, 1656 Lincoln Way, White Oak, Pa., 15131. Just call 412-527-6600.
#64 Duquesne Elementary School - Lion King Christmas Tree
- This tree is inspired by our Spring Musical, Disney's "The Lion King's Kids" that our after school program students grades 4 through 6 will perform in May. All students, Kindergarten through sixth grade are involved in the process of making sets, costumes, and any other components of the musical. We wanted the same for the tree, our younger students creating the animal inspired cup ornaments all the way to our older students with the more detailed animal print ornaments.
#65 St. Patrick Church CCD - How Sweet It Is
- The candy cane is a much loved treat enjoyed at Christmas time, and the different characteristics of the candy cane all have special meanings. The shape of the candy cane is like the shepherd's staff that Jesus used and, if turned upside down, it is the letter "J" for Jesus. The hard candy reminds us that Jesus is our rock and the white and red colors symbolize Jesus' purity and the blood He shed for our sins. And finally, the peppermint flavor represents a purifying herb used in the Old Testament. These decorated and handmade ornaments were made by the children in grades 1-8 so that we may be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas and of Jesus' sweet love for each and everyone of us! Please enjoy a sweet treat that shares the meaning of the candy cane.
#66 McKeesport High School - Student Council - Christmas in Paris
- Student Council would like you to invite you to close your eyes and imagine you are in Paris on a winter evening. The snow is falling and the lights are shining on the Eiffel Tower. The cheerful folks around you are wishing each other "Joyeux Noel" and the children are waiting for Pere Noel to appear.
#67 McKeesport Heritage Center - To Honor Those Who Serve
- The Heritage Center recently opened a new exhibit, To Honor Those Who Served, recognizing and remembering our region's Veterans. This exhibit opening is in conjunction with a World War II traveling exhibit from the Heinz History Center that our museum will be hosting from the end of January through the end of March. Decorated by our volunteers, the patriotic ornaments also include pictures of some of the Veterans featured in our exhibit. We hope you'll come visit our museum.
#68 Praise Christian Academy - King of Kings
- Praise Christian Academy students in grades 6 through 8 made bejeweled crown ornaments for our Christmas tree. The gold ornaments remind us that Jesus is indeed the "King of Kings," as the title "King of Kings" signifies a supreme ruler. We hope that you recognize Jesus as the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Prince of Peace of your heart this Christmas and all the year through.
#69 Christ Temple AME Church - Joy
- Joy is something that comes from up above, created out of God's Holy Love. Just a chance to feel it in your heart, will make you never want it to part. So pray for joy, and pray for it strong, that will make it remain all the year long.
#70 Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger Drive - Tree to End Hunger
- This tree of lighted canned goods is to remind everyone of hunger in America. The Letter Carrier food drives helps stamp out hunger.
#71 White Oak Athletic Association - Our Next Generation of Athletes
- The White Oak Athletic Association, WOAA, was founded back in January of 1956. The goal of the organization has been a well-organized sports program for young people of White Oak and the surrounding communities. Through 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 cheerleading programs 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 in. 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.
#72 Founders' Hall - PAWS After School Program - We are like a Snowflake, All Different in Our Own Beautiful Way.
- This tree was put together by the PAWS after school students at Founders' Hall representing that we all different but special and unique at the same time.
#73 McKeesport Police Department - Thank You Tree
- The McKeesport Police Department tree is black, trimmed with blue lights to represent our brothers and sisters in blue. The ornaments are orange tickets issued to each McKeesport police officer to THANK them for their service!
#74 McKeesport Area Pre-K Counts - Faces of the Future
- McKeesport Area School District Pre-K counts Program are the faces of the future with their golden outlook on learning and their future. Our tree features all of our students' photos gilded in gold and glitter to represent their bright and shining futures.
#75 McKeesport Ambulance Rescue Service -"Our Tools of the Trade"
- This tree reflects some of the equipment the men and women of McKeesport Ambulance Rescue Service use on a daily basis to ensure the safety and wellness of all our residents and visitors to the City of McKeesport and its surrounding communities. This tree is dedicated to all the men and women of the Emergency Medical Services who give so much of themselves for others.
#76 West Mifflin High School - National Honor Society - Life's Little "Givens"
- West Mifflin High School National Honor Society realizes that the many little things in life that are taken for granted every day are not always a given for our friends and peers. Our tree is decorated with ornaments created by NHS members depicting what they take for granted as well as some of those little "givens." In order to address that these are not always a "given"for everyone, WMAHS NHS is creating a "Pantry" within the school that gives access for student to little things such as toothbrushes, cough drops, bobby pins and hair ties, deodorant, socks, canned goods, snacks and other necessities as needed. Donations to the pantry are accepted at West Mifflin High School Office or by contacting Jackie Tonini at firstname.lastname@example.org.
#77 South Allegheny Middle School - Dr. Seuss Tree
- Doctor Seuss promotes learning and reading for kids. The Life Skills Classroom loves Dr. Seuss. They chose to do the tree to bring reading to life.
#78 Mary Of Nazareth Catholic School - Prayer Bears
- Students in preschool through eighth grade created different types of bears with prayers for people in need and/or short prayer for all. This type of tree was decided on because prayer is a main focus of our everyday life. We look to help people in need and prayer is very powerful.
#79 Famers Insurance, Steven Gazda Agency - Presents All Around
- The tree is made up of wrapped Christmas gifts. All presents were wrapped by our employees and clients. Ribbons and bows were used as ornaments.
#80 Twin Rivers Elementary School - A Tribute to Van Gogh
- "I believe there is nothing more artistic than to love others," said Vincent Van Gogh. The fifth grade Twin Rivers art students and their teacher, Mrs. Bollman, believe this true.The teacher and her students worked hard to create a tree influenced by the famous impressionist artist, Vincent Van Gogh. The students reproduced two of Mr. Van Gogh's most famous works of art, Starry Night and Sunflowers.
#81 McKeesport Charge, Christy Park - Warm Heads, Warm Hands and Hearts For McKeesport
- Members of the McKeesport Charge, Christy Park United Methodist Church Campus have decorated their tree with new gloves, mittens, hats, and scarves. After the festival ends, all will be donated to the Kephart UMC Clothing Store to help those in need.
#82 Semper Fidelis - Scholarship Tree
- The Semper Fidelis Club of McKeesport has been giving scholarships to African American McKeesport High School Graduates since the Club's inception in September 1919. The Club was started by several McKeesport housewives. At that time, the minorities were not afforded a college education but these members felt there was a need to encourage young African American students to further their education. Even though the amount was very small in the beginning, it was enough to help sustain one's education. Marjorie Tyree in 1936 was the first awardee allowed to sit with the Honor Graduates at the commencement exercises at McKeesport High School. The list of recipients included Medical Doctors, PhD's, Judges, Attorneys, Educators, Nurses, Engineers, and many other occupations. Our last recipient was Nayelle Williams. Semper Fidelis's motto is "Lifting as We Climb" and the name of our Club means "Always Faithful." The Club continues, after 98 years, with their commitment for scholarships for African American McKeesport High School graduates.
#83 McKeesport Fire Department - "Toys for Children"
- The fire department's entry features fire trucks and gift ornaments with a surprise helper under the tree.
Originally published December 06, 2017.