Since 1993, The Dundee Township Lions Club has sponsored the Festival of Trees event during the Dickens in Dundee celebration.
Local elementary school students and youth groups are encouraged to use their creativity to decorate Christmas trees that will be displayed in Grafelman Park throughout the weekend.
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This year that event on Dec. 6-8 will take on a special significance as the members of the Dundee Township Lions Club decided to honor Ron Rhoades by permanently adding his name to the event.
In November 2012, the Dundee community lost a citizen, Ron Rhoades, who had devoted much
of his life to community service. Ron was a 59-year member of the Dundee Township Lions Club where he held many leadership positions and contributed to numerous community service projects. Ron was a long-time member and elder of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church. He also spent 31 years as an educator within District 300 and was the first principal at Dundee Highlands Elementary School.
One of the Lions Club projects that Ron held close to his heart was the Festival of Trees. He
personally promoted this event with the local elementary schools and youth organizations. This
has developed into an event that the citizens annually love to stop and view. The colorful and
imaginative decorations add to the spirit of the holiday season.
Ron's wife, Jeanette, was recently a special guest at the Lions Club meeting where this honor of renaming the Festival of Trees was announced. She was presented with a framed copy of the sign by Jim McClung, Lions vice president that will be annually displayed with the trees to explain the contributions of Ron Rhoades' to the Dundee community.
If you have the opportunity to walk through the collection of decorated trees in Grafelman Park
the first weekend in December, take a moment to reflect on a man who touched so many and
made a difference to the community he lived in.