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SV Middle School’s Christmas tree is redeemed
Sierra Vista Herald/Bisbee Review ^ | Dana Cole

Posted on 12/04/2007 5:17:33 PM PST by SandRat

SIERRA VISTA — Ron and Joanne Wagner were guests of honor during a special celebration at Sierra Vista Middle School on Monday.

The Wagners, who had purchased a Christmas tree that had been donated to the Festival of Trees by the middle school, gave the tree back to the school for students and staff to enjoy. This marked the fourth year the Wagners purchased a tree at the Festival and returned it to the school that donated it.

All the ornaments on the tree were hand made by special education students. Now on display in the school library, the tree was delivered by Horizon Moving Systems just prior to the reception in the Wagners’ honor.

“I’m not quite sure what to say after all this,” Ron Wagner said to a packed library after he and Joanne were given a mound of thank you cards from the students. “My wife and I have been buying trees for four years and we are very pleased to give this back to you for your enjoyment.”

Wagner also thanked the students for their participation in the festival, which is an annual fundraiser for the Sierra Vista Regional Health Center Foundation. As president of the hospital board of trustees, Wagner told the students that what they did for the festival not only helps the hospital, but benefits the entire community.

“My hat is off to you,” he added. “Thank you for this reception and party. We had no idea what we were getting into today.”

Following his address to the students, the school’s band filled the library with music, playing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” It was the song they had planned to perform during the annual Holiday Parade, which was canceled Saturday because of poor weather.

The tree, entitled “A Special Starry Night,” is covered with sparkly white, blue and purple ornaments that the students created, based on their abilities.

Pointing toward some of the ornaments, special education teacher Lori Garcia said the project was a fun way for students work on occupational therapy skills. It gave the students an opportunity to experience a community event and enjoy the end result.

One of the students, Christina Gross, showed some of the beautifully beaded snowflakes that she had made.

“We strung the beads on wire,” she explained. “Some of the classes made the stars out of paper and some made the reindeer, but my class worked with the beads.” Because of their sparkle, the snowflakes are her favorite ornaments.

“Four special education classes helped with the tree,” said Kathy Orzechowski, one of the special education teachers. “We have all different levels of special education here, from learning disabilities, to the severely disabled.”

The tree, which is the first that Sierra Vista Middle School has donated to the Festival of Trees, will be on display in the library throughout the holiday season.

“The tree is absolutely gorgeous,” said Jim Sprigg, the school principal.

“My family and I went to the mall to see it, and we were so impressed by what the kids had done. It was so nice for Ron and his wife to donate it back to us.”

In past years, Chancellor Charter School received a tree from the Wagners and Bella Vista Elementary School has been given two trees, in two different years.

Herald/Review reporter Dana Cole can be reached at 515-4618 or by e-mail at

TOPICS: Education; Local News; Religion; Society
KEYWORDS: christmas; christmastree; christmastrees; education; festivaloftrees; middle; middleschool; publicschools; school; schools; sierravista; specialeducation; students; tree

Joanne and Ron Wagner look at the Christmas ornament Kelly VanRompacy, a seventh-grader at Sierra Vista Middle School, made for the recent Festival of Trees at the Mall at Sierra Vista. The Wagners purchased the tree and donated it back to the school. (Ed Honda-Herald/Review

1 posted on 12/04/2007 5:17:35 PM PST by SandRat
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To: SandRat

Now that puts me in the Christmas mood!

2 posted on 12/04/2007 5:26:10 PM PST by CAluvdubya (DUNCAN HUNTER '08)
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To: CAluvdubya

Thought it might.

3 posted on 12/04/2007 5:26:49 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

So they have a Festival of Trees and a Holiday Parade at the local mall.

Sounds more like a marketing scheme rather than a celebration of Christ’s birth.

4 posted on 12/04/2007 5:55:31 PM PST by ladyjane
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