Last week was a busy one for the organization known as Christmas Island Style (CIS). They began the week assembling two of the community’s Christmas trees. One at the Veterans Community Park and the second, and new addition to the organization’s inventory, at Founders Park at the corner of Collier Boulevard and North Barfield.
“This new tree will replace the older re-purposed tree we lit two years ago when we decided to add it as a welcoming display for those entering the island. That was originally donated to us by the Italian American Society 17 years ago. The new tree will stand about 16 feet in height and will utilize the wonderful display of LED lighting displayed by the large tree located in Veterans Community Park,” said Wanda Day Burson, one of the CIS Committee members.
The CIS Committee was joined by about 25 volunteers who took most of the day on Tuesday to unload, assemble, test and lift the final product into place.
“This is a collaborative effort between a number of different entities,” said Steve Stefanides, the Chairman of the Christmas Island Style Committee. “The city assists in a number of ways including personnel from the fire and police departments as well as parks and recreation and public works. Then we have LCEC who assist by doing the “heavy lifting” of the two trees into place. However, none of this would be possible without Condee Cooling and Electric loaning us some of their brightest and best to make sure the tree will light without fail each year,” said Stefanides.
The annual tree lighting and celebration will be held on this Saturday evening, December 7th starting at 6 PM at the Veterans Community Park in Marco Island. The CIS Committee suggests that you bring lawn chairs or blankets to enjoy the evening of fun and celebration of the holiday season.
Special Request to Those Who Attend
The Christmas Island Style Committee has joined with Our Daily Bread Food Pantry, whose truck will be located in the parking lot near the entrance to the field near the restrooms. Our Daily Bread Food Pantry is requesting that everyone bring a non-perishable food item to help feed the hungry during the holiday season. They will be there manning the truck and would appreciate your help during this special time of year.
Santa Arrived Last Friday
On the Friday after Thanksgiving, the CIS Committee again joined with the Shops of Marco and the Salon and Spa Botanica to welcome Mr. and Mrs. Claus to their shop for complimentary pictures and goodies. Michael Held, owner of Keep In Touch at the Shops of Marco, helped to coordinate the event with Bill and Debra Schroeder, owners of the Salon and Spa Botanica.
“This is always a great event for the community,” said Bill Schroeder. Held would agree and pointed to the many children along the walkway awaiting the delivery of Santa by the Marco Island Fire Rescue Department.
Even Marco’s new Police Chief Tracy Frazzano was impressed and joined in the fun by handing out pop-up Christmas ornaments. “This is so great to see all these wonderful kids and meet so many members of our community,” said Frazzano.
Not to be outdone, Fire Chief Mike Murphy handed out red fire helmets as he and Frazzano took part in a little good-natured competition. But in the end, they posed together for a picture with their personnel and Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Angels and Banners Are Up
The angels in the medians and many of the properties lining Collier Boulevard began popping up over the last week. The city was also busy hanging the committee’s Christmas Island Style banners during this last week, ahead of the big kick off and tree lighting on Saturday.
“Each year we sell about 20-25 of the angels and deliver them to homes and condos around the island. It has become a tradition that resulted in a proclamation naming Marco as ‘The Island of Angels,’ by Collier County 30 years ago when the tradition began,” said Barbra Dasti, a member of the CIS Committee.
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