By Carly Giles
Mason Times staff writer
Late November 2012 the city of Mason was unable to continue with a lifelong tradition of lighting the big Christmas tree in front of the Ingham County Courthouse. It didn’t happen like previous years because there wasn’t enough money.
Thursday, Oct. 10, was the 12th annual Mason Area Chamber of Commerce Raffle held at Bestsellers’ Extra! at 365 S. Jefferson Street.
Proceeds from the raffle go to the Chamber’s “Hometown USA” fund for the community. Last year these funds helped buy Christmas decorations for around Mason. This year the funds are being used to help keep this tradition alive.
Shirley Grieve, Al Schulien, Joyce Schulien, and Bonnie Root sell more raffle tickets at the door and are in charge of the sign-in sheet.
The annual Christmas tree lighting has happened the day after Thanksgiving for as long as everyone can remember, said executive director of MACC, Doug Klein. Klein said the tree has grown bigger over the years and has become more expensive to light. Another price factor comes from Mason being one of the first cities to use LED bulbs to light the tree, said Klein.
Last year the chamber resorted to lighting an 8-foot tall tree, said Bestsellers’ owner Jamie Robinson. That’s when the chamber came in and decided to help fund it.
The lighted parade kicks off the tree lighting and starts north of town, rounds around and ends at the Courthouse where the Citizen of the Year lights the tree, said Robinson. The 2013 citizen is Jenny Bond.
Another benefit from the chamber funding the lighting is rather than using volunteer firefighters to hang the lights, like past years, they are able to hire a company to hang them, said Robinson.
The major sponsor of the raffle was Lansing Area Federal Credit Union and other sponsors were Bestsellers’ Extra! and Dart Container Corporation. Door prizes were household appliances provided by Darrell’s Market & Hardware. The first, second and third prizes were purchased locally from Continental Centers.
Tickets were sold at the Chamber office in downtown Mason and at the door for $10. It was held at Bestsellers’ Extra! at 365 S. Jefferson Street from 5-7 p.m. Once you signed in at the raffle you were automatically entered in the door prizes drawing.
Mason residents gather in Bestsellers’ Extra! for the 12th Annual MACC raffle.
Since at least 3,000 tickets were sold, according to the raffle rules, there was also a 50/50 raffle happening during the event.
The winners and prizes were:
$3,370 Grand Prize Winner: Patricia Maldonado
iPad First Prize Winner: Paul Schnipke
HDTV Second Prize Winner: Jerry Klinger
$100 Gift Certificate Third Prize Winner: Bob Zacher