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Annual Marion County Courthouse veterans' Christmas trees installed
Times West Virginian - 11/29/2022
Nov. 29—FAIRMONT — Three Christmas trees in the Marion County Courthouse are filled with ornaments that honor local veterans and military personnel.
On the second floor, in the courthouse atrium, three Christmas trees are adorned with bulbs that have pictures of veterans with ties to Marion County in them. Of the over 200 ornaments, around 75 percent of them were made by Maree Reynolds, facilitator and ornament maker, with help from J.B. Lockwood, co-owner of My Box and Ship, and veteran advocate Kip Price, of Monongah. The remainder were made by Judy Wilson, who was formerly in charge of the program.
"I really liked doing it. You know, it's great for the veterans, the ones that make it up there to the trees and look for their bulb. It's just so great because, not only are they looking for their pictures, but they're also seeing all the other ones," Reynolds said.
Reynolds became involved with the project in October 2020. She wanted to be a part of it to honor her father, S. Jerry Reynolds, and brother, Jerry Lee Reynolds, who have passed away.
All of the ornaments have a picture and name and many include the wars or where they served, rank and what branch of the military they were in. Veterans or active service military personnel are able to contact Reynolds or Price and give them their information to be placed on an ornament. Participating military members receive an eight by 10 print of the picture they submit to Reynolds or Price. Then, the pictures are printed with help from My Box and Ship. Reynolds assembles the ornaments and places them on the tree.
Reynolds said she works on the ornaments year round, but does a significant amount during November and December, before Christmas.
Over the past few years, the number of ornaments has grown significantly, which is why a third tree was added to the display. Reynolds said she loves working on the project, watching it grow and interacting with veterans.
"It doesn't matter where you're from, if you are in Fairmont, and you are a veteran, you can get a bulb. ... And it doesn't take that long to do because J.P. from My Box and Ship prints the pictures everybody gets an eight by 10," Reynolds said.
To add a bulb to the tree or for more information, contact Maree Reynolds at 304-276-4746. Veterans or active military personnel need to provide a photo (does not have to be in uniform) name, rank, what war or where they served and military branch.
Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-367-2549.
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