Ozark County Chamber of Commerce decorates Gainesville square for Christmas
After a windstorm last year destroyed almost all of the regular Christmas decorations that usually adorn the Gainesville courthouse lawn, some residents wondered if there would be any decorations at all this year.
Thanks to many helping hands, the colorful features have has been replaced, and this year’s display is bright as ever.
Ozark County Chamber of Commerce president Douglas Hawkins told the Times that the Chamber kicked off a fundraising campaign to buy new decorations with a $1,000 donation.
Chamber member Kerrie Zubrod then wrote a letter to area businesses, explaining that last year’s display was mostly destroyed when a windstorm came through the area and damaged most of the decorations beyond repair.
Hawkins distributed the letters to area businesses and individuals, and the community responded in a big way.
“We raised $1,770 from local individuals and businesses, allowing us to completely redecorate this year,” he said. “Linda Harlin volunteered to shop for the decor and come up with a new design for the courthouse lawn, and Khristie Ashmead of Southern Roots salon donated a large Christmas tree for the gazebo – and turned right around and decorated it. It looks awesome.”
Hawkins said about a dozen community members showed up last Saturday to help install the decor.
“I really want to thank the local residents and businesses that donated to make this possible,” Hawkins said. “I love that it was such a community effort, and I look forward to even more community members being involved next year. It’s a fun time for people to come together and get in the Christmas spirit, and help make the community festive.”
Those who donated to this year’s Christmas display include Janet Taber, Debra Schilling Smith, Douglas Hawkins, Jennifer Douglas, Johnnie Turner, Michael Breeding at State Farm Agency, Pointer Blackburn and Brown, Pippin CPA, Darla Sullivan, Century Bank, Christy Thompson, Ozark County Times, Southern Roots, Mill Country Title, Molly Collins, Chaney Monument, Faunlee Harle at AMAX real estate and Dale Sanders at American Family Insurance.
Hawkins said the lights and display will remain up and lit until after Christmas.