(Apple Valley)– The Grinch won’t keep Christmas in the dark this year thanks to a generous sponsorship from Agio Real Estate that will provide a new Tree of Lights just in time for the Town of Apple Valley’s Winter Wonderland celebration and tree lighting ceremony on December 3.
Winter Wonderland is a family friendly event featuring train rides, inflatables, crafts, pictures with Santa, information and giveaways, live entertainment and falling snow! For the past nine years, the event has culminated with the lighting of the Town Christmas tree.
“Unfortunately, construction of the Development Services Building and installation of the surrounding landscaping caused the tree stress that left it susceptible to a bark beetle attack,” explained Parks Supervisor Sean Hagen, who has kept watch over the condition of the tree. “We did everything we could to save it because it has become such an integral part of our winter events but, ultimately, for safety reasons, it had to come down.”
A crew of tree trimmers removed the 71-foot deodar cedar that stood close to the entrance of Town Hall ever since it was donated by Apple Valley residents Frank and Sally Steele in 2002. The removal was documented in a tribute video on the Town of Apple Valley’s YouTube video channel at www.youtube.com/TownOfAppleValleyCA .
The absence of the tree left Special Events Coordinator Julie Gilmer at a loss for what to do for the tree lighting. She began calling local businesses for help and Agio Real Estate owner Kari Leon quickly rallied to the cause. Agio Real Estate occupies the former Town Hall building at the corner of Dale Evans Parkway and Highway 18, which was the site of the very first Town tree lighting in 2000.
“Agio Real Estate has participated in past Winter Wonderland events, providing cookies for visitors,” Leon said. “We couldn’t imagine Winter Wonderland without the tree lighting, so when Julie called I said ‘well, we’ll just take care of that!’”
The town is in search of a live tree to eventually replace the one that died. In the meantime, Leon presented the Town with a check that covers the majority of the cost of a 25-foot structure made of poles and lights that will be named the “Agio Tree of Lights.”
“In these economic times, other cities and organizations are reducing or closing events like these,” said Mayor Scott Nassif. “We are so grateful for Agio Real Estate’s support that allows us to continue these public amenities that make Apple Valley a better way of life.”
The Town has many sponsorship opportunities available for other special events and programs. Sponsorships include many advertising and publicity benefits to the sponsor, as well as the potential for tax benefits.
The Town also has room for additional businesses, clubs and community organizations to enhance Winter Wonderland by hosting a booth to provide treats, small toys or other a give-aways for visitors who attend. For more information please call Special Events at (760) 240-7000, x 7071 or visit www.AppleValleyEvents.org.