Generosity Lights Up Port Edwards

Generosity Lights Up Port Edwards

For seven decades, three evergreen trees planted in 1941 at the dedication of Port Edwards shopping center had been lit for the holidays.

However as the lights aged, they were not replaced, due to cost. Only one lit tree was left.

That’s when a group of residents took action.

“We lost our mill. Then we lost our gas station. Then we lost our credit union. And we were kind of ‘lost.’ I didn’t want to be lost,” said Kathy Cronkrite. “We wanted to have a nice setting. When you light for the holidays, it really defines your downtown business area.”

Kathy, along with Karen Thiel, Jeanette Bieschke and Joan Palen, formed Citizens for Holiday Enhancement to raise money for new lights. With a goal of $8,000, the group received a $2,000 grant through the Port Edwards Progress Fund held at Incourage Community Foundation. The Village of Port Edwards provided a dollar-for-dollar match. Then, community response was overwhelming. In only six weeks, the goal was met and 3,000 LED lights purchased!

“We have wonderful, generous people here,” Kathy emphasized. “This would not have happened without our local Progress Fund through Incourage to jump-start the fundraising.”

“Progress Funds support local people making a difference in their community,” explained Mary Wirtz, Incourage vice president of donor services. “The lighting project is a great example of how groups can reach goals by collaborating with others.”