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The City of Belton is inviting concerned citizens to “Be the Light” at a community-wide event at 1:30 p.m. on Wed., Dec. 19, in Memorial Park to help redecorate the Mayor's Christmas Tree, which was heavily damaged and vandalized over the weekend.

“Many of our citizens have asked how they might help with restore and repair the tree,” City Manager Alexa Barton said. “So, we decided to send a message to vandals that the holiday spirit is alive and well in this community. In fact, we invite those who damaged the tree to come out and help us restore it.”

Vandals tore the top off the fir tree and ripped and broke most of the lights and decorations from its boughs. The cost of repairing the damage could range from $1,000 for new lights and decorations up to $4,500, which would include full replacement of the tree.

“There is a 50/50 chance the tree will survive, and we are working to save it,” Barton added.

The City will accept donations of 4- and 6-inch shatterproof bulbs at Memorial Park tomorrow afternoon. Citizens who cannot attend the redecorating event but who wish to donate to the Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund may do so at City Hall via cash or check. Any proceeds beyond what is needed for the tree's repair will be donated to the Belton Welfare Association.

Belton Parks workers begin the process of salvaging the lights and ornaments that survived last weekend's vandalism of the Mayor's Christmas Tree in Memorial Park. Around half the lights are still operational, they said. Vandals ripped the top from the tree and stole the star in addition to numerous other ornaments and light strings.
NCH photo/Allen Edmonds


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