Published: August 15, 2013
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It hasn't looked quite like Christmas in Clarks Summit Borough for several years but, thanks to a new committee, 2013 is the year to light up the town.
The Clarks Summit Christmas Coalition was formed in response to resident and business criticisms that the borough's annual holiday light display exhibited an annual decline in splendor. The coalition is a group of business and community leaders who are hoping to completely revamp the town's holiday decorations through community support.
"We can't do this alone; the more people we have involved, the better," said Clarks Summit Borough councilwoman and Christmas Coalition chair Patty Lawler. "We need community spirit behind this. It really depends on that - how much the community responds to this."
Lawler explained that the first steps in the borough's Christmas crusade include professionally placing roughly 300-500 light strands on every tree in town. Trees are available for sponsorship by both businesses and residents for $125 for a small tree and $225 for a larger tree. Christmas Coalition creative director Ellen Beechko will design a sign with various seasonal messages as well as the sponsor's name for display. Trees are also available in a person's memory.
The Abington Business and Professional Association (ABPA) recently donated $1000 to the Christmas Coalition as a part of its annual "Men in Black" event. ABPA President Barry Kaplan feels that the revamped holiday display can only enhance the borough's appeal.
"People are overjoyed over the return of the lights to Clarks Summit," he said. "People have missed them and asked for them. The ABPA is happy to have people and organizations in the community working with the borough."
Members of the Christmas Coalition are also selling raffle tickets for a trip for four to Radio City Music Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 11. The trip, sponsored in part by Abington Travel, includes deluxe transportation as well as preferred seating and is valued at over $500. Tickets are $5 a piece or three for $10 and are available at various Clarks Summit businesses as well as through any Christmas Coalition member. The seller of the winning ticket also receives a $100 prize. The ticket drawing will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 20, during the borough's annual tree lighting festivities.
Lawler expressed her desire to see Clarks Summit's holiday display grow and improve for years to come.
"Next year, when we light up downtown Clarks Summit, it will be one of the most memorable events because we are hoping that, on the night before Thanksgiving, the place to go to will be Clarks Summit," she said. "It will be a place where you can see your friends and family or people you went to school with and hear carolers caroling and Santa in our streets. It will be a beautiful night that the whole community can participate in - a winter wonderland. What we are doing is the start in making Clarks Summit the holiday go-to place for years to come."
Anyone who wishes to participate in the Christmas Coalition, sponsor a tree or purchase a raffle ticket is asked to call Lawler at 587-4099. The coalition is also seeking donation or loan of a manger scene for downtown Clarks Summit.