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Landscaper Rescues Fire Company With Second Fir Tree Donation



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For the second time in as many years, Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company is celebrating the generosity of a supporter.

One year ago, Hawleyville firefighters were preparing to host their annual tree-lighting event. They had the perfect lawn space at their firehouse, but no tree.

Through a fire company contact, Nick Straub of North Stone Landscaping in New Milford graciously stepped up to the plate and donated a 20-foot high beautiful fir tree. It was decorated, admired, loved, and watered for months.

Then lightning struck, literally, during the past summer. The electrical systems in the buildings were damaged, and so was the tree. It turned brown and all the pine needles fell off despite the efforts of Hawleyville members to continue watering and fertilizing. Their efforts were to no avail.

They reluctantly admitted defeat, but did not want to let Straub know his large gift was a goner. They decided they would instead try to put holiday lights on the “Charlie Brown” tree, and hope no one noticed in the dark.

The night before Hawleyville members were going to start putting lights on what was left of their tree, a message arrived: “Hold off — we’re getting a new tree!”

Straub was stepping up once again. The generous benefactor came to the rescue with a second lovely fir tree.

It was installed the morning of November 28, with 12 days left to get the rest of the job done.

“With warm and sincere thanks for the hard physical labor of Nick and his crew, the Hawley-villagers will get to light the cold darkness once again with holiday cheer and festivities on Sunday, December 11, at 5:30 pm,” said Donna Ball, who is again helping the company coordinate its tree lighting event.

The 12th Annual Hawleyville Tree Lighting will be centered around Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company’s station, 34 Hawleyville Road. It will include visits with Santa, music, Dance Etc student performances, and light refreshments. Check Facebook.com/hawleyvillefire in the event of inclement weather.

Employees of North Stone Landscaping — from left, Jose Ruiz, Sam Molina, Carlos Guanoquizq, and Cristian Monje — stand with the fir tree they installed at Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company on November 28, less than two weeks ahead of the 12th Annual Hawleyville Tree Lighting. —Donna Ball photos
Employees of North Stone Landscaping returned to install a fir tree for Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company for the second consecutive year after a lightning strike killed the previous tree at the property.
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