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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT
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Holiday Lighting Goes Green to Grow Business

GREENWICH, Conn. – Greenwich businesses and residents are coming together to “go green” and adorn Greenwich lampposts as an alternative to lighting trees this holiday season.

“Lighting the trees was becoming challenging, with potential damage to the trees, and the town requiring us to install and remove the lights each year, therefore driving up the costs,” said Marcia O’Kane, executive director of the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce who took over the luminary decorations from the Let There Be Lights organization.

This year, the lights on the lampposts will complement the hanging holiday baskets installed by Greenwich Green & Clean on Greenwich Avenue. “We are thrilled to be “going GREENwich,” said O’Kane.

It’s an annual holiday tradition to have lights adorn trees in downtown Greenwich, Byram, Cos Cob and Old Greenwich. It was initiated by executives who formed Let There Be Lights in 1990. However, when the operations failed to include the tree lighting, the chamber of commerce stepped up in late September.

“It would be a terrible shame for a town with so much to offer and so many good and generous people and companies for the holiday lights not to be funded,” said Jeff Weber, chair of the chamber's board of directors. The lights initiative has continued thanks to donations from companies and residents. Every few years, the town is in danger of not having holiday lights as costs rise and donations fall, said Weber.

This year, Justin Shaw, a local resident and owner of the local family business JCS Construction, donated his time and that of his employees to hang the 1,000 strands of lights. He also secured a donated truck from United Rentals for the job.

“I hope to be involved for the coming years, not only by hanging the lights and donating time and resources but also by spreading the word in town that this is the responsibility, and frankly a privilege, of all our community members to be involved and spread holiday cheer,” said Shaw.

Alyssa Keleshian Bonomo, a resident, business owner and lights committee member, said the holiday decorations are important because they bring business into the community. “With the holiday season being so vital to retailers, we want to create the most festive venue to entice people to do their holiday shopping and dining in Greenwich."

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