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Hagerstown's Christmas tree a tribute

November 20, 2007|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - Kathryn Renner said she wished her late husband, Ronney Lee Sr., could have been at the annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony Monday evening on the square in Hagerstown.

Several years ago, Ronney talked about donating a tree from their property for the city to use, she said, but he died three years ago and never got the chance.

Following through on her husband's wishes, Kathryn gave the city a 25-foot blue spruce to use this year. She lit it in his honor Monday night before a crowd of about 300 people.

"It's a nice feeling," she said. "I just want to donate it in his memory so everyone can enjoy it. It's just a sad thing my husband isn't here to see it."

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City Parks and Recreation Director Junior Mason said the city accepts two donated trees a year from residents to use during the holiday season. One of the trees is used on the square, and the other at City Park.

Mason said about 20 people want to donate each year.

As part of the process, he said he visits the prospective donors' properties and chooses the best two trees. City workers are then sent to cut the trees down and haul them away, he said.

The trees that aren't chosen get put on a list for future consideration, he said.

Mason said the tree that will be used in City Park was donated by Sara Dickey of Hagerstown.

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