Successful tree lighting

Published 7:13 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Editor, Smithfield Times

Despite huge traffic and parking problems on Dec. 11, over 500 attended the 2015 Tree Lighting sponsored by The Woman’s Club of Smithfield at The Smithfield Center. My thanks go to all who helped.

First, the Tree Lighting committee: Marilyn Corvigno, Shari Fleck, Susan Fowlkes, Edie George, Debbie Odell, Sue Plummer, Debi Postma, Debra Thurston, and Debbi Sivertson, planned, decorated and cleaned up.

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The special centerpieces on the cookie tables and the reserved tables were created by, Jane Burgold, Katie Byrum and Debra Thurston.

The Smithfield Center donated the venue and the drinks. The Center staff is always so helpful with pre planning details, but extra thanks go to Lisa and Calvin, who worked during the event.

Allen and Kim Pugh, Summer Wind Vineyard and Tree Farm donated the Carolina Pine tree.

The Elf, Gail Smith, handed out candy canes. Woman’s Club President, Suzy Brett, introduced Mayor T. Carter Williams, who welcomed everyone.

Entertainment was provided by: The Smithfield High School Wind and Percussion Ensemble, conducted by student Director, Kayla Vasilauskis, played several Christmas Carols. Smithfield Baptist Church Youth and Children’s Choir, directed by Nancy Lynn Delk, sang several holiday songs. Westside Elementary School was well represented by its Choir under Director Catherine Blackburn. Town crier was Collin Norman.

Drew Ensz, Associate Pastor, Trinity Methodist Church, read an original rhyming poem, about the reason for the season.

Anthony Robinette, who works at Naval Station Norfolk, was Tree Lighter. He founded The Garage Ministry in 2010 and is vice president of The Mission of Hope, which provides food and shelter to the homeless during the cold weather.

Finally, thanks to the all of the parents, who somehow managed to get the performers to The Smithfield Center. With so many events occurring at the same time, I have no idea where you parked or how far you had to walk.

Arleen Whelan
Woman’s Club of Smithfield
Tree Lighting Chair