AU's Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences sponsors Christmas tree at Kingwood Center
When Wendi Bigelow visited Kingwood Center’s Christmas exhibit a few years ago, the decorated trees sponsored by area businesses caught her attention.
The administrative assistant at Ashland University’s College of Nursing & Health Sciences in Mansfield thought it would be nice if AU could be part of the annual event.
With approval from Carrie Keib, College of Nursing dean, Bigelow and fellow administrative assistant Anita Wheitner went ahead with the project, sponsoring a tree for a $40 fee and decorating it.
“Anita and I made the bow and banners for the tree,” Bigelow said. “The rest we found in the basement storage at the College of Nursing.
“I thought this was just good PR, giving us a chance to support the community at Christmas,” Bigelow added.
The tree walk is only one part of the Mansfield venue’s Christmas exhibit, which also includes decorations throughout the hall and an outdoor trail of lights. It is open from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays until Dec. 30 except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The gardens at Kingwood Center are open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day.
All guests must register in advance for the Christmas exhibit, including members and children. Cost is $8 for non-members and free for members and children 12 years old and younger.
“When guests enter Roost Hall, during the holiday season they are amazed by the beautiful, decorated trees,” said Joi Davis, public functions coordinator at Kingwood Center. “In Roost Hall we have 30 Fraser fir decorated trees of different shapes and sizes. Each decorated tree showcases the character of each individual organization. The Fraser fir tree is also called the perfect Christmas tree.
“The Ashland University College of Nursing & Health Sciences tree hits us at the door to the left with its beautiful ornaments and perfect style,” Davis added.
Being a member of the Richland County Master Gardeners, Bigelow used her contacts through that organization to get on Kingwood’s mailing list to receive information about the tree walk.
Some AU faculty members have told her they really liked that the College of Nursing is participating in the exhibition, said Bigelow, who added that a stop to Kingwood should be on everyone’s Christmas list.
“They have made several updates to the estate, which are very exciting,” Bigelow said. “Last year, the third floor to the mansion was open and this gives a more intimate look to the building.”
Wheitner said she was more than happy to help decorate the College of Nursing’s tree and felt privileged and honored to be asked to do it by Bigelow.
“To be able to represent the college in a way that benefits the entire community, just by putting a smile on someone’s face or lifting someone’s spirits at the holidays, to me is giving back to the community,” Wheitner said, “and that is a big part of what Christmas is all about.”