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Christmas tree bonfire squad gets ready to light the night

Dawn Egan, chairman of the Weston Warm-Up Fund, John Pokorny, chief of the Weston Volunteer Fire Department, and the Rev. Rob Ross, the new rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, get ready for the annual Christmas tree bonfire Saturday, Jan. 5.

Dawn Egan, chairman of the Weston Warm-Up Fund, John Pokorny, chief of the Weston Volunteer Fire Department, and the Rev. Rob Ross, the new rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, get ready for the annual Christmas tree bonfire Saturday, Jan. 5.

The Rev. Robert Ross, recently appointed rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, is joining Dawn Egan, chairman of the Weston Warm-Up Fund, and Weston fire Chief John Pokorny in planning the church’s annual Epiphany charity Christmas tree bonfire Saturday, Jan. 5.

What started as a church celebration of the 12th day of Christmas — some 200 years ago — is now an annual fund-raiser for the Warm-Up Fund, whose beneficiaries are Weston households that need help keeping their homes warm this winter.

The yearly bonfire also warms the hearts of the 150 or more observers, both children and adults, who attend the night-brightening blaze that’s set, controlled and extinguished by members of the Weston Volunteer Fire Department. The firemen will stack, arrange and — promptly at 6 p.m. — light the bonfire.

Every town resident with a Christmas tree is invited to participate. For a suggested $30 tax-deductible donation to the Warm-Up Fund, a volunteer church driver with a pickup truck will collect trees earlier on Saturday and bring them back to the field adjacent to the new parish house.

For those who bring their own tree to the church, the suggested donation is reduced to $20; the only stipulation is that the tree be delivered between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Checks may be made out to the Weston Warm-Up Fund.

Mr. Ross inherits responsibility for the bonfire from the  previous rector, the Rev. David Feyrer, who came up with the idea in 2006. By associating the bonfire with the quarter-century of work done by the Warm-Up Fund, he dealt simultaneously with the issues of disposing of Christmas trees, providing a significant source of revenue to the fund, and making the bonfire a fun event in the middle of winter by opening it to everyone in town.

Free refreshments will be served in the parish hall.

For more information or to schedule a tree pickup, call the church office at 203-227-8565 or email office@emmanuelweston.org.

Emmanuel Church is located at 285 Lyons Plain Road.

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