St. Joseph Y2K Lions WinterWalk Coordinator
The lights have been rolled up and stored until next year, the trees along JoeTown streets are down and providing gourmet food for area goats, and the inventive tree stands made from pallets have been recycled. WinterWalk was quite different this year in the era of COVID. While smaller in scope, WinterWalk’s heart grew three sizes, just like the Grinch’s.
The task of lighting up JoeTown was truly a community event. Rewarding, beautiful and needed.
People came together across this community to bring color, joy and hope to this great little town. In this time where we have lost so much, we also made tremendous gains. Those beautiful trees lighting our streets and hearts led to literally hundreds of compliments received online and in person.
We are grateful, and there are many to thank:
Dr. Joe (longtime JoeTown dentist) and Barb Styles of Riverbluff Tree Farm for providing us with 55 lovely trees. Y2K Lions is happy to add we have entered a partnership with Riverbluff to provide trees for years to come.
Ryan Wensmann, director of JoeTown Public Works, and Mayor Rick Schultz for their support.
Also St. Joseph Parish, Fr. Jerome Tupa, Lenny, Mark and Andy were invaluable.
We are especially thankful for Andy Loso and that 1920 Model T truck that chauffeured Santa around town.
Once again, we’d like to thank St. John’s Abbey and Arboretum, with a special tip of the hat to Arboretum Director John Geissler for another beautiful tree. Though we decided to scale back with a smaller tree this year, we have a huge beauty lined up for next year. Wow!
Our gratitude goes out to Sarah Wischnefski and those wonderful people at Brenny Transportation for again safely bringing our tree home. They also made our tree stand several years back, which we still use.
Finally, none of these great ideas would have come to fruition without people willing to come forward and “git-er-done!” Those trees would still be standing in a field and the lights on rolls if not for Josh Schmitz and the Joe Boys Poker Run Inc., a fabulous non-profit group doing kind acts in JoeTown. Jeremy and St. Cloud Refrigeration, Michael Boeckmann and PowerHouse, Gene Lange and Sons Excavating. You folks were great! They and their crews got the saws, trucks and trailers, put on the work boots and cut, hauled and problem-solved how to create 55 tree stands on a shoestring budget and on short notice.
I know I am forgetting some, as folks showed up at different times, lent a hand hauling, righting tipped trees, decorating and providing snacks and beverages for the crew. All of you – all of us – came together to brighten our lives and spirits at a time that was so important.
On behalf of the Y2K Lions – and if I may take the liberty, on behalf of the greater JoeTown area, THANK YOU!!!!