A Holly tree in Donnelly Park downtown has been selected as the Tree of Hope And Memories. The tree will be lit in multi-colored lights to represent cancer awareness colors and how the disease has touched everyone.
Roy Hughes, The City of Mount Dora Parks and Recreation Director, followed through on a suggestion by grandparents of a child with cancer to designate a tree to show support.
The city is inviting people touched by cancer to tie a ribbon, or write a message on the ribbon for those who are battling cancer. Ribbons can also be tied on the tree for all those who have passed away from the disease and for those who have survived.
“The tree is meant to reflect how cancer has touched us all in one way or another,” says City Manager, Vincent Pastue. “We are calling this the 'Tree of ‘Hope and Memories’ and in some small way we hope this tree brings those affected some peace during the holidays.”
“People are encouraged to come tie their own ribbons on the tree to honor someone they know." said Roy.
The Tree of Hope and Memories will be lit on November 28th at the same time as the Light Up Mount Dora ceremonies.
Here are some of the colors that show support of different cancers globally: All cancers-lavender; brain cancer-gray' breast cancer-pink; childhood cancer-gold' colon cancer-dark blue; hodgkin’s lymphoma-violet; leukemia-orange; lung cancer-white; melanoma-black; ovarian cancer-teal; pancreatic cancer-purple; prostate cancer-light blue; testicular cancer-orchid; uterine cancer-peach.
It's genius. Instantly decorate your home for the holidays and serve homemade holiday desserts without lifting a finger. The kicker is your shortcuts benefit local families in need.
'Celebrate the Season' is going on now through Saturday in downtown Mount Dora. The event features decorated trees and other holiday decorations for sale, plus what is arguably the largest bake sale on the planet. Okay, that's a stretch, but you get the idea. It all benefits Lake Cares Food Pantry.
More than 1000 labor hours went into decorating the 20 Christmas trees. Three women worked late nights and squeezed any free time available into working hours on the trees. It was a true labor of love.
"It was like we had these 3 elves with unbelievable energy levels," O'Malley said. "And then on top of it --we had 10 of our local businesses donate their decorated wreaths for the auction. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful we are to have this holiday seasonal event.
The huge selection of homemade bake goods for sale includes cakes, snickerdoodles, brownies, pies, pumpkin loaves and much more. Most varieties freeze perfectly and can be defrosted for Thanksgiving.
"No charge to come and enjoy and purchase. Our list of donated fresh baked cookies and pies is to die for--and we even have homemade dog biscuits for sale," said O'Malley.
"Celebration of the Season" will be open again this Friday and Saturday 10 am-8 pm at Donnelly Park Pavilion on the corner of 5th Avenue & Donnelly Street.
No one does Christmas like Mount Dora. No one does holiday lights like Joe Lewis.
For the past 19 years, Joe and his crew of elves at Mount Dora Boating Center have created what is arguably the city's most impressive holiday display. This year the downtown marina boasts over one million lights.
Lewis has it down to a near science. Preparation begins in September, and the installation of all the illuminated decorations starts in October. After much anticipation by children and adults, the lights are turned on during the city's annual Light Up Mount Dora event and visited nightly throughout the holiday,
This year, the marina will feature some new lighted decorations including an enormous Frosty the Snowman and large, synchronized snowflakes mounted on the wall of the dry boat storage building.
"The lights are just inspiring and put you in the holiday mood," said Lewis when asked about his is a holiday labor of love. "Here in Florida we don't have seasonal cold weather, so we try to put up a few more lights than normal."
In 1989, Lewis and his wife Suzy purchased the marina which has 95 wet boat slips and another 140 dry slips. It wasn't long before the Lewis' growing tradition at home was moved to the marina.
"When my wife said we couldn't put them up at the house anymore, I said 'No problem I'll come up with a another place'," mused Lewis.
With so many lights, something is bound to go wrong occasionally . One year, Lewis was decorating by himself on top of the tall dry storage building on a windy day. Much to his dismay, he discovered his ladder had been knocked to the ground by the wind. Lewis was then stuck alone on the roof and had to get creative to get down.
Lewis has removed any worries about a troublesome burned out bulb. A few years ago, the marina's display was upgraded to all LED lights for added vibrancy and durability.
Light up Mount Dora will be on November 28 and you can see the marina's light display at 148 Charles Avenue at the downtown lakefront. The lights are on every night through the holiday season.
The marina can use assistance funding the display for future years. If you are interested in how to help, click here.