Tree decorated in family tradition
The tree, which was donated by the Weidman family, has a long Christmas history, dating back almost 50 years.
The tree was actually the family Christmas tree of Paul and Rachael Weidman of State Street 45-50 years ago.
“We then planted the tree in our backyard after our Christmas celebration,” said Sue Burkholder, daughter of the couple.
The idea of donating the tree started out as a suggestion from the person who takes care of her mother’s lawn.
“He commented to her that the tree would be good for downtown Ephrata and it took off after that,” Burkholder said. “We started thinking how it could be a tribute to my late father because the community was so important to him.”
Burkholder said her father, who was an Ephrata businessman, was always giving back to the community, “and this would have made him proud.”
“One of the family values our parents instilled in us growing up has always been to give back, and this year we give back at Christmas time to our downtown community,” she said.
Burkholder said growing up, her family used to sing around the tree and that correlates with what happened Friday night around the very same tree.
“It’s all about family,” she said. “My father would be proud of that.”
The tree was lit by Dane Burkholder and his wife, Jane, and their daughters, Bria and Cali &tstr; the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Paul and Racheal Weidman.
Burkholder said even though her father is no longer here, he still keeps giving back.
“He would have loved this celebration,” she said.