Toulon held their annual Christmas Celebration on Saturday evening. There were a lot of events working against it this year. Spirits were dampened after the tragic car accident that claimed three young lives and left two others injured earlier in the week. Rain had also forced planned activities to be canceled. Midday on Friday, the planning committee made a decision to donate the proceeds from the annual wreath auction to the accident victim’s families. The change in plans was spread primarily by word of mouth. The committee hoped that enough people would hear the news and turn out for the auction.
Shortly before 7 p.m. the tables began to fill up at the Bistro with people waiting for the auction. John Leezer and Joe Orwig donated their auctioneering skills to the event and were assisted by the OSA queens. The bidding took off and never landed until the last wreath was sold. The community opened up their hearts and their wallets to help those local families that had been so terribly affected by the car accident.
It did not make any difference if you personally knew any of the accident victims or not. In a small community we all know and try to help each other. At the end of the evening over $8,400 was raised to assist the families (donations continue to come in). Community spirit was alive and well. A bucket was passed around the room for anyone to donate whatever they felt they could. That bucket of money was then auctioned to the highest bidder. Again and again the bucket was sold – seven times – until the contents were eventually donated to the cause. The bucket auction alone brought in over $3,000.
The wreath auction is an annual event that donates its proceeds to a local charitable cause. Wreaths are beautifully decorated by Toulon businesses and sold at auction at the end of the Toulon Christmas Celebration, shortly after 7 p.m.. Those contributing items to the auction this year were: State Bank of Toulon, Cover Insurance, Gerber’s Daisy & Floral Boutique, Karen Roberts, Stark County News, Rennick Law Firm, Changes, Toulon Aquarium, R Bar, Toulon Lions Club, Toulon Market, Stark County Ambulance, Stark County Economic Development, Leezer Agency, Nelson Auto Sales, Toulon Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, Pregnancy Resource Center, Indian Creek Vineyard, Happy Tails, Connie’s Country Kitchen, Paula Communications.
The evening far exceeded the hopes of the committee. There have been so many acts of kindness and generosity all week. It makes one proud to live in this community.