To the Editor:
“So shines a good deed in a weary world,” spoke the renowned fictitious chocolatier, Willy Wonka.
These words echoed the sentiments I carried throughout the duration of the 2015 Christmas season in downtown Troy.
One late summer day, a meeting was coordinated by Niall Foster, a seasoned Troy Main Street volunteer, with Ben Denlinger, the president of the Western Ohio Home Builders Association, and Don Hubbard Jr., of Don Hubbard Jr. Roofing, and myself, the new kid on the Troy Main Street block.
A vision was shared and the Santa House idea became a reality. Soon HBA members, volunteers and local businesses emerged to get the project off the ground, providing materials, time, energy, and sheer talent. Representatives from our local builders and contractors spent countless hours constructing the house and custom ramps, putting in many long nights away from their families to see this dream come to life.
Angie McWhirter of the HBA created the interior masterpiece, which visitors of all ages “oooh-ed” and “ahhh-ed” over, whilst reciting their Christmas lists to Santa Claus.
Shanda Fiessinger of the Green Society, and members of the Beautification Committee donated sweat equity, supplies, and the gorgeous exterior of snowflakes, lights, and presents for a pristine holiday backdrop.
The city of Troy Electrical and Parks Departments jumped in to help with everything from installing additional light switches to setting a mailbox for letters to Santa, all without hesitation.
Don Hubbard provided his crew and equipment to lift the house into place on Prouty Plaza, and also again for the removal of the Santa House to its storage location until next Christmas.
Chelsea Demmitt gave of her creativity by adding an artistic flair to the sign (provided by the Miami County Fairgrounds) positioned in front of the house. Several outside donors provided funding to the project and the amazing downtown holiday lineup of events as well.
Last, and certainly not least, Santa Claus himself spent hours of his precious time to travel each weekend to our beautiful city to take pictures with visitors and to spread his holiday cheer! If any one of these people would have had “no” in their hearts, the house that meant so much to so many this season would still be but a dream.
Thank you to the over 1,000 people who visited the Santa House and created lasting memories with friends and family. Thank you to everyone that had a hand in designing, building, decorating, and beautifying the Santa House. And most importantly, thank you to those that cherished the spirit of Christmas and believed in an idea that brought our community together.
— Stephanie M. Silk
Interim Executive Director
Troy Main Street