Tree symbolizes Christmas, love - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Tree symbolizes Christmas, love

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For the past two decades, the members of the First United Methodist Church have been lighting this tree on 13th and Minnesota.

Thousands of lights adorn this 60 foot evergreen. It's become symbolic in Sioux Falls. A beacon to celebrate the season.

"I think it's a symbol of Christmas, and I think he wanted to have the blessings of the church and the blessings on his family to be shared with other people," said Bev Gunderson, a member at First United Methodist.

This tree, Dorothy's tree, is also a symbol of love.

Driving down Minnesota Avenue in 1992, Dale Weir had a question for his wife, Dorothy.

"Dale looked at Dorothy and he said, 'What do you want for Christmas this year?' She looked up and she saw this evergreen on a hill and she looked at Dale and said, 'I want to you to decorate that tree for me for Christmas,' " said Candy Hanson, President of Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation.

To her delight, Dale gave Dorothy exactly what she wanted. For ten years, she loved driving by her giant, lit up evergreen.

In 2003, Dorothy passed away.

"Dale was doing estate planning and he wanted to make sure that Dorothy's tree was always lit. So, in his trust he dedicated funds," said Hanson.

Dale has now passed away too, but their tree - their symbol of love - is still lit.

"It's a pretty nifty thing to think that the tree is going to be lit for good. Forever."

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