Lincolnshire tree-lighting ushers in holiday season
Dave Thoensen, seated, and his son David, Jr., bask in the glow of the Balsam fir that is this year's Lincolnshire Christmas tree. The Lincolnshire Community Association, which organized Sunday's tree-lighting ceremony, also named Dave and his wife, Lucia
Updated: February 4, 2013 1:15AM
LINCOLNSHIRE — More than 1,000 lights attracted more than 300 people on Sunday to Village Green for the lighting of the official Lincolnshire Christmas tree.
Unseasonably warm temperatures and clear skies brought a huge crowd to the shopping center on the northeast corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Olde Half Day Road for the Lincolnshire Community Association’s annual event. Bob Gregory, LCA President, said he was grateful for the partnerships from Lincolnshire Village Hall and the tenants of Village Green, which made the afternoon possible.
“It was a great collaboration,” Gregory said. “It was such a beautiful day. We were inundated with kids.”
Especially Santa Claus — the world’s most-traveled man arrived via an escort from the Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Protection District, and posed for photos with more than 50 children. Choirs from Daniel Wright Junior High, the Girl Scouts and Stevenson High School sang, and Gregory said he felt especially impressed by the Patriots’ group.
“I turned to someone, I said ‘It must be a recording,’ it was that good,” Gregory said.
The lights around the 60-foot-tall Balsam fir were activated by Dave and Lucia Thoensen, owners of Tamarak Day Camp and the LCA’s Citizens of the Year. Dave Thoensen said he and Lucia were humbled by the recognition.
“There are so many civic-minded people in Lincolnshire who do so much to make our community the special place that it is,” he said. “To be recognized with them is a great honor.”
Jolene Orvis of the LCA said the award’s nominating committee, consisting of three past winners, picked the Thoensens because of their 12 years of owning the camp, frequently hiring former campers and their volunteering with the Stevenson High School Community Foundation and the Lincolnshire Morning Star Rotary Club.
The civic-minded people also made contributions to a pair of causes that the LCA supported. Gregory did not have exact figures after the event, but said that the Toys for Tots collection and the drive for the Vernon Township Food Pantry had been successful.
“When I say ‘huge boxes,’ I mean two probably 5-foot-tall boxes full of toys, and five boxes of nonperishable foods and more than $200 in cash for the pantry,” he said.
The association also sold white luminaria bags; its next event will be the Dec. 23 “Light Up Lincolnshire” night, when residents will be encouraged to display their luminaria at dusk.