By: KayLynn Roberts-McMurray
The Christmas Tree in Sculpture Park has become a tradition in Ely for the past 10 years, it’s the kick off to Ely’s Spirit of the Holiday, Christmas.
Inmates from the Ely Conservation Camp were recruited each year to helpconstruct the tree, but the camp was closed in July of this year to address staffing deficiencies with other correctional facilities in Nevada.
The White Pine Chamber of Commerce and several volunteers from the Elks Lodge, High Desert Trailblazers, Ghost Re-Riders, and other locals in the community stepped in to help construct the holiday tree at Sculpture Park.
Several volunteers stood several feet high on the metal structure placing treelimbs, while Wayne Cameron, Executive Director for the Chamber of Commerce explained the community’s efforts to step in and help. “We are so lucky to live in a community where people and businesses step in and offer to help.  The weather has been great to us today, and I’m looking forward to the tree lighting ceremony just a few weeks away.”
The tree stands 30 feet tall, with over a thousand pieces of tree limbs that are pieced together to make the tree ready for the holiday’s.  Every limb was being checked to ensure the lights were properly working before placing them onto the tree structure.
Volunteer Andy McVicars has been helping with this project for several years. “It’s a cool tradition, we’ve been doing it for ten years, that’s why I wanted to be part of it.”  McVicars had brought along a long-time friend Rick Sandoval to help.  “I was on my way down to my son’s to drop some hay off, Rick asked me what I was doing today and asked him if he wanted to come along, and he couldn’t resist.  It’s what we do here, we step in and help others.”