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Local company helping with Christmas lighting project

When a community comes together, projects get completed.
This form should once again hold true as one local company is pitching in to help brighten-up Tyrone this holiday season.
Sam Anders, owner of Anders’ Garage and B&S Machine in Grazierville, and his staff of three part-time and three full-time employees are busily making enough lighted, aluminum stars that will decorate Tenth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in time for Santa’s visit.
“I’m just glad to be helping the community look better this Christmas season,” said Anders. “We decided that we were going to make as many as we could in a short period of time, but the way it looks, we should get them all done by the time their ready to put them on the posts.”
According to Bonnie Patton, director of the Tyrone Chamber of Commerce, 64 of the decorations will be made.
“We’re really excited to know that a local company is interested in helping with this project,” she said. “It’s not only going to lower the cost of the project, but it will also keep local funds circulating in this area, rather than in another state.”
According to Patton, the Chamber and its board of directors had been looking at different commercial companies to purchase downtown decorations from, but the results were very costly.
“We had a few things in mind, but then learned everything we had picked out was too small,” said Patton. “The larger the decorations got, the larger the bill would have been. We’re just so happy things worked out this way.”
According to Patton, the decorations the Chamber board looked at were the “cheapest” available, but still not cheap enough. She said the ornaments that were looked at carried a price tag of $400 each, and multiplying that times 64 lamp posts would result in a bill of more than $35,000.
“He’s (Anders) saving us thousands of dollars,” said Patton. “We’re extremely pleased that he has decided to take on such a heavy task.”
According to Anders, each star measures 9-foot by 9-foot with two smaller cascading stars attached. Each unit will contain 100 small, sized C5 light bulbs.
The stars are made from 3/4-inch square aluminum tubing which is welded together then coated with a clear lacquer, which Anders said will be essential in keeping the aluminum shiny.
“The advantage of using aluminum is two-fold,” said Anders. “First, it’s much lighter than steel so it’ll be much easier to put them up. Also is the longevity. We don’t have to worry about these things rusting.”
According to Anders, the hardest thing of making the stars was in the beginning.
“It took two days to make the first one,” he said. “But once we got a jig made, things went a lot quicker.”
Patton said the older residents of Tyrone will be taken a little bit back into history when they see the stars adorning the posts downtown this Christmas season. Years ago, lighted wooden stars highlighted the downtown during the holiday season.
“The fact that these stars will be reminiscent of the past makes this project all that more appealing,” said Patton. “We can’t wait to hear the reactions of the people who saw those original stars. That really makes this project special to everyone that’s put so much work into it.”
Patton said despite the continued efforts, the Chamber’s budget still falls short of where it needs to be. She said since the Lighting Fund Drive started in mid-October, approximately 44 responses from local businesses and individuals have netted a little more than $600.
“That’s still well short of what we need,” said Patton. “We need an additional $3,000 to $5,000 to fund this project.”
Anyone wishing to make a donation should contact the Chamber of Commerce in Tyrone at 684-0736, or make checks payable to Christmas Lighting Fund, 1004 Logan Avenue, Tyrone, PA 16686.
Also, to help raise additional funds, Burley’s Fine Food and Dining, located on Pennsylvania Avenue is selling its own “made-from-scratch” gingerbread ornaments. The ornaments come in two sizes and both include a free personalization. Small ornaments can be purchased for $3 each, while the larger ornaments carry a $5 price tag.
These ornaments will adorn a tree in the restaurant until Dec. 20, afterwhich, they can be picked up during normal business hours. For more information, contact Burley’s at 684-7858.