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Angel Tree helps families have a better Christmas

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Photo by Hank Lohmeyer About 20 people came out for a holiday event of lighting an unofficial community Christmas tree last week, organized by Peggy Bathie.

A long-standing holiday tradition of special caring and giving is again providing Christmas happiness to Surface Creek Valley children and their families.

But in many instances, explains Peggy Bathie of Cedaredge, who is helping coordinate the Angel Tree project this year, the community's caring is being asked to go beyond providing delights for wide-eyed kids on Christmas morning with a present to unwrap.

"Local families are asking for basic survival items on their Christmas lists to Angel Tree this year," Bathie said. "You see the need is so great when parents are asking for bottles and diapers for their kids."

Along with her daughter, Heather McGovern, Bathie has been working with the Angel Tree project to adopt entire families for the Christmas season. For groups wanting to adopt entire families for the season, Peggy's phone number is 856-3306, and McGovern's is 970-778-0366.

The Angel Tree was at Cedaredge FoodTown, with opportunities for caring shoppers to play Santa for a youngster this year. Requests for gifts this year as found on the tree last week included: "Anything John Deere;" "Transformers, dinosaurs, games, puzzles;" "Toy cars, toy guns;" "Makeup, perfume and lotion;" "CDs and books;" "coat and gloves;" "Snow boots and jacket;" "Legos, Ninja Turtles."

Local Santas need to have Angel Tree gifts at the offices of Blair and Associates, 105 SE Frontier, Ste. 105, by this Friday, Dec. 11.

Bathie's tree-themed enthusiasm for community holiday spirit has gone beyond the Angel Tree project. Bathie organized an unofficial community Christmas tree lighting last Thursday that was attended by about 20 people. Bathie even supplied cookies for her guests.

"This is a beautiful community. So why don't we have a community Christmas tree?' she asked.

She answered her own question by organizing the carolling and cookies tree-lighting event at a 60-foot-tall conifer located at the corner of SE Buffalo and South Grand Mesa Drive, across from the AppleShed.

"Next year it will be one of the trees in Town Park, and we will light it following the Parade of Lights," Bathie said.

Last Christmas, the Chamber of Commerce had hoped to stage a community tree lighting using one of the big spruce trees in front of the Masonic Lodge building. Some technical difficulties ran afoul of those plans.

Photo by Hank Lohmeyer The Angel Tree was offering gifting ideas for would-be local Santas last week at Cedaredge FoodTown.
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