Morenci's Wishing Tree program grows 12.2.09

Written by David Green.

The need is greater than ever in this year’s Wishing Tree project. Fortunately, the generosity of Morenci area residents is keeping pace.

“We had more than 200 stars hanging on trees,” said Wishing Tree coordinator Rosemary Dickerson, “and we still have about 30 stars remaining.”

That’s a long way to go, but it also shows excellent participation.

“That’s very, very good,” Dickerson said. “We’re really blessed with this community.”

The annual Kiwanis project matches up the needs of area residents with those willing to lend a hand. Lists of families needing help this holiday season are collected and stars are hung on trees listing Christmas wishes of area children.

The age, sex and clothing size is listed on each star and residents are invited to pick a star and do some shopping. Trees are located at Stair Public Library, First Federal Bank and United Bank and Trust.

Gifts are due back at the location where the tree is located by Dec. 11. Any stars remaining Dec. 9 will be handled by Kiwanis Club members.

There are two changes in this year’s Wishing Tree effort, Dickerson said.

No delivery will be offered this year due to the large number of stars. Gifts and food must be picked up by families at one of two times: Friday, Dec. 18, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. or Saturday, Dec. 19, from 9 to 10 a.m.

The other change is the location. The Wishing Tree outgrew the EMS training room, Dickerson said, and will move to the vacant TNG building at the back of Wakefield Park.

Food donations will be sorted there by Dave and Donna Dickson to prepare for pick-up.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
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    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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