Retired Providence Firefighter Donates City Christmas Tree In Advance of Tree Lighting
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Retired Providence Firefighter Donates City Christmas Tree In Advance of Tree Lighting

Friday, November 30, 2012

In past years, the City Hall Christmas tree had been chosen from as far away as Maine.

This year, though, the 35-foot tall Colorado blue spruce that towers over Kennedy Plaza from the steps of Providence City Hall hails from a much closer home - Silver Lake. The tree, donated by a retired Providence firefighter and his wife, Robert and Marie Mink, was cut from the Mink family's Petteys Avenue home - three miles from City Hall.

In response to a call for the perfect tree, the city of Providence received fifteen entries from homeowners looking to have their respective trees take the stand on the steps of City Hall for the city's holiday celebrations.

Robert and Marie Mink's daughter, Robin Okolowitz, suggested that her father nominate the tree that had graced the Minks' front yard for about 45 years when its limbs began to encroach on the family's driveway.

The City of Providence Parks Department, under the direction of Beth Charlebois and Doug Still, successfully installed the tree in its new Dorrance Street home on Monday afternoon.

On Monday morning, the Department of Parks, Forestry Division arrived at the Mink family residence to cut down the tree. Stanley Tree Services donated a crane to lift the 35-foot spruce over the telephone wires and lay the tree on a city trailer for its journey to City Hall.

Upon arrival on Dorrance Street, workers from Stanley Tree Services hoisted the tree into place on the steps of City Hall.

Workers from the Parks Department built a platform while Forestry crews cabled the tree to the building. The Forestry Division installed the lights and connected the wires to City Hall's electrical source.

Mayor Angel Taveras will host a tree lighting ceremony for both the City Hall and Bank of America Skating Center trees in Greater Kennedy Plaza on Saturday, December 1 at 6pm. The ceremony will feature performances by RPM Voices, the 18 Wheelers and the Brown University Skating Band. Award-winning local and regional figure skaters will perform a figure skating demonstration in the Bank of America Skating Center.

Members of the Johnson & Wales University chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa are selling ornaments to benefit Hasbro Children's Hospital. Refreshments will be served by Johnson & Wales University and Legal Seafoods.

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