The mission of the Christmas Spirit Foundation is to advance the Christmas Spirit for kids, families & the environment through programs & activities.
Introducing the 2021 Christmas Spirit Award Recipients
St. Louis, MO, April 12, 2021 — The Board of Trustees of the Christmas Spirit Foundation (CSF) has reviewed nominations and named four individuals and/or groups as recipients of the Christmas Spirit Award thanking them for their creative and extraordinary support of the Foundation’s Trees for Troops® Program. The recipients for 2021 are:
1. Dewey Romagnoli, Romagnoli’s Oneida Valley Acres, Canastota, NY
Mr. Dewey Romagnoli first learned about the Trees for Troops program in 2007 through his membership in the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York and decided to donate some of his own farm trees to the cause. At the conclusion of the first year, the Romagnoli family felt that it was such a worthwhile program that they would continue with future annual donations. Little did they know that this initial step would lead them to massive donations of over 600 trees per year over the past couple of years, as well as to become a drop off point for donors and a designated pick-up spot for FedEx in its delivery partnership with CSF!
2. Lehighton Area School District, Lehighton, PA
The Lehighton Area School District decided to participate in the Trees for Troops program many years ago to support the area tree farms in their community. “One of our elementary school secretaries at the time had a husband who owned a local farm that had supported the Trees for Troops program, so I thought that it would be great community service exposure for the kids,” explains Aaron Sebelin, Principal at Lehighton Elementary Center. “Involvement gives our kids a sense of pride – not only in our school, but in the nation. We have a school kick-off Veterans Day program each year, which gets the kids eager to talk to their parents and get them involved in these types of events.”
3. Warren Miller, Miller Plumbing and Heating, Bethlehem, NH
Warren has quietly and continually backed the Trees for Troops program with annual monetary donations after originally being asked to make a small contribution to help facilitate the initial program as it struggled in its infancy many years ago. He explains that he enthusiastically responded to the appeal because he strongly feels that all military members and their families rightfully deserve such a program. “I have no personal military background, but my father was in the Army, and I really appreciate what they’ve all done and still do for us. It’s obvious that military families sacrifice so much….being away from each other for months or more at a time. The sacrifice speaks for itself.”
4. Pam Helmsing, Foristell, MO
Trees for Troops is a program developed by The Christmas SPIRIT Foundation (CSF), which was created by the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) board and staff in 2005. Pam Helmsing and Steve Drake initially started the CSF program, and then served as the respective Executive Director and CEO. “At the time, Cause Marketing was becoming prominent. Consumers, particular younger consumers, were interested in purchasing goods from companies that supported communities, good causes and the environment…and they were willing to pay a premium to do it.”
Spirit Award Recipient History
2020- Tom and Kerry Dull, Farmside Acres, Noble Mountain Tree Farm, Bill Wilczek & Barbie Beck-Wilczek, Mahoney's Garden Centers, Auto Savers Group
2019- Harry and Juanita Peckham, Mark Watts
2018- Steve Drake