Gift that keeps giving: Perrrysburg business donates trees for holiday display, that will live on at school

PERRYSBURG — A downtown Christmas tree donation will live on past the holiday season at the Perrysburg Junior High School prairie project.

Jim Hodulik and Tony Bilancini of Swig Restaurant donated 31 trees to the Perrysburg Schools Foundation for display at the Commodore Schoolyard. After the holiday, they will then be moved to the junior high at the athletic fields.

“When they are all done, they will have the trees to plant anywhere,” Hodulik said.

Swig provided the tree boxes, LED lights for each tree and a $100 stipend for each tree’s decorations.

School organizations, clubs, classes, teams and groups of employees signed up to decorate the trees. A tree lighting ceremony will be held on Friday, with the parade on Sunday.

“Quite frankly, it looks pretty doggone good at night,” Hodulik said. “We’ve got some things going and happening and getting people to go to the downtown who don’t normally come. It’s a nice historic downtown and we hope they will have some fun when we they come. We just want to keep that spirit alive.”

The trees will be on display along Louisiana Avenue until the end of December.

Perrysburg Schools Director of Development and Alumni Relations Jeff Abke said that Swig’s gift will keep on giving.

“The added benefit of the Christmas tree decorating contest is that when the community is done enjoying them for the four to five weeks of the holiday season, we will still have the live trees. We were trying to figure out a way to fund the rest of our native prairie project. This finishes that,” Abke said.

Abke said that the tree line will run between the parking lot and Interstate 75. They have had problems with people parking on the grass during the more heavily attended football games. The full sized trees will then form a natural fence to keep that from happening.

“The added benefit of this donation is that those trees will be used across the district,” Abke said. “In one area in particular, at the junior high, we have our wild prairie classroom.”

Also donating products and or in-kind time to the tree project are Larry and Nancy Hutson from River Hollow Farms, electrician Doug Wyraz, Gross Electric, American Rent-All, Image 360 and Swig staff members.

Swig did a similar donation several years ago. Those trees were replanted in the city parks.

Hodulik likes the idea that their donations will live on long after the holiday season.

“What we hope to have happen is to expand this next year, having businesses and organizations, anybody who wants to sponsor a tree, to sponsor a tree. It would be really great to have a 100 trees, instead of just 31,” Hodulik said.

Perrysburg Schools Superintendent Tom Hosler was thrilled with the Swig donation of the trees and the whole project.

“We are grateful to Swig for this opportunity to invite all of our community members to enjoy the holiday season together,” Hosler said.

Perrysburg holiday happenings

The public is encouraged to participate in the various tree related holiday events:

• Tree-lighting ceremony on Friday from 6-7 p.m.

• Decorating contest – People’s Choice Award will be determined by monetary “votes” via MobileCause to benefit the Perrysburg Schools Foundation’s Full Experience Fund. Celebrity judges will select award recipients for the following categories: Best Jacket Spirit, Most Creative, Kids’ Magical Moment and Judges’ Choice.

• Ice sculptures – Chad Hartson of Ice Creations will do ice carvings Friday during the tree lighting ceremony, on Sunday during the Home for the Holidays Parade and on Dec. 10.

• Closing ceremony on Dec. 21 from 6-7 p.m., when award recipients will be recognized.

Visit www.perrysburgschoolsfoundation.org for more information and to vote for the People’s Choice Award.

Perrysburg holiday happenings

The public is encouraged to participate in the various tree related holiday events:

• Tree-lighting ceremony on Friday from 6-7 p.m.

• Decorating contest – People’s Choice Award will be determined by monetary “votes” via MobileCause to benefit the Perrysburg Schools Foundation’s Full Experience Fund. Celebrity judges will select award recipients for the following categories: Best Jacket Spirit, Most Creative, Kids’ Magical Moment and Judges’ Choice.

• Ice sculptures – Chad Hartson of Ice Creations will do ice carvings Friday during the tree lighting ceremony, on Sunday during the Home for the Holidays Parade and on Dec. 10.

• Closing ceremony on Dec. 21 from 6-7 p.m., when award recipients will be recognized.

Visit www.perrysburgschoolsfoundation.org for more information and to vote for the People’s Choice Award.