City Times Staff
Crews from the Stevens Point Streets Dept. installed the downtown Christmas tree on Tuesday.
The tree, a 40-foot white spruce, originated from the front yard of Whiting resident Tom Gustin.
Gustin, an instructor with the Stevens Point Judo Club and part-time bailiff in Portage Co. Circuit Court, said the tree was originally about 60 feet tall, but crews from the city scaled it down to a more manageable size.
“I saw Tom Schrader (director of the city’s parks dept.) at a meeting and I asked him what the process to donate a tree was,” Gustin said. “Next thing I know, there’s people from the city looking at the tree in my yard, and now it’s downtown.”
Gustin said the donation was something he and his wife Mary “just wanted to do”.
“It’s just a way of giving back to the community,” he said.
According to Dennis Laidlaw, supervisor of the city’s streets dept., another Christmas tree for the city’s Highway 10 entrance, near Guardian Angel Cemetary, was donated by resident Jim Ford.
The city will light the downtown tree, along with Main Street decorations, just before the Nov. 20 Christmas parade at 6 PM.