Westborough Rotary Club seeks donations to help fund winter lights upgrade

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By Stuart Foster, Contributing Writer

Holiday lights hang in the large pine tree within Westborough’s downtown rotary. The Westborough Rotary Club is now fundraising to revamp the light display with the services Christmas Décor. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

WESTBOROUGH – The Westborough Rotary Club is seeking donations to help fund a new
seasonal display of festive winter lighting, which will go up in the downtown area on Nov. 28.

The Rotary Club has installed winter lights with the help of the Westborough Department of Public Works (DPW) for the last fifty years. This year, though, it has decided to hire professional decorating company Christmas Décor to help revamp and rework the lighting tradition.

“A happy smile, hopefully, will be put on especially the children’s faces,” Rotary Club Lighting Committee Chair Jim O’Connor recently told the Community Advocate. “People will be proud of downtown Westborough, and it couldn’t come at a better time when we’re still struggling with COVID and other issues.”

“Hopefully it will be a cheerful note going into the holiday season,” he continued.

O’Conner outlined much of the Rotary Club’s current plan back in March in a presentation to the Select Board. A few months later, in June, the Rotary Club announced a competition to design a new logo for the Winter Lights display. Now, the Rotary Club is beginning its fundraising push to support this new effort.

“We are counting on the good graces and the good nature of the citizenry in Westborough and I think they’ll come through full-square,” O’Connor said.

The new installation will include decorations on 24 of Westborough’s lamp posts with simulated garland, small white twinkle lights and a red bow by the light at the top of the post.

Additionally, the large pine tree in the Westborough rotary will be decorated with more than 400 lights. Three deciduous trees in the rotary will have white lights wrapped around their trunks.

The decision to adopt a new light installation, O’Connor said, was due to visible deterioration of the installations over the last few years. O’Connor said that some of the lights began to fail as trees grew so big that extension ladders were required to reach them. A number of strings and lights on the trees became inconsistent as more of them failed.

The turning point, O’Connor said, came when hundreds of residents criticized of the deteriorated installations, saying they thought the display did not look as good as it used to.

“We said ‘This is one of our signature, very visible opportunities to show the town of
Westborough how highly we regard them. We need to fix this,’” O’Connor said.

O’Connor said that the Rotary Club connected with Christmas Decor after learning about a
design they did in the Shrewsbury town center.

The Rotary Club and Christmas Decor then agreed to a three-year deal wherein, after this first year, they can add to the scope of the project.

O’Connor said that Christmas Decor would purchase, install and store all of the materials for the display while the Rotary Club retains ownership.

In order to pay for the installation, O’Connor said that the Rotary Club is using club funding and donations, which they are currently campaigning for.

O’Connor added that the Rotary Club has asked the Westborough business community for
donations in exchange for advertising from the arms of light posts from November through February.

O’Connor further thanked the Westborough Select Board for being attentive to the project, and the DPW for fully supporting the Rotary Club throughout the entire process.

The Rotary Club is accepting donations through its website at https://www.westboroughrotary.org/page/winter-lights