Light Up Tusky to hold breakfast fundraiser

Light Up Tusky to hold breakfast fundraiser
Teri Stein

The Tuscarawas VFW Post 7943 will be the site of a pancake breakfast fundraiser on Nov. 6 for a new project, Light Up Tusky, which aims to make the village more festive for the holidays.


The Light Up Tusky committee and volunteers will hold a pancake breakfast fundraiser on Nov. 6 at the Tuscarawas VFW Post 7943 from 8-10:30 a.m. The cost is $8, and the meal includes three pancakes and two sausages. It is dine-in or carryout with milk, coffee or juice available for $1.

Light Up Tusky is an initiative to make the village’s Main Street a festive and decorative place during the holidays. The goal is to line the poles of the street with holiday decorations with 100% of the proceeds from the pancake breakfast sales and donations going directly to the Light Up Tusky fund.

The project is being overseen by village council with Mike McConnell serving as committee chairman along with members Tom Baker and Matt Ritenour.

It started with a discussion one day about how other small towns in the area started taking donations to decorate their villages. They were planning on just taking donations, but another Tusky resident, Matt Smith, suggested a fundraiser at the VFW and the breakfast idea was born.

The project will take years to complete as electric hook-ups will be needed on each pole to be able to add lights and decorations.

“We don’t want to buy a bunch of lights and then we don’t make the money we need,” Ritenour said. “The idea is to light as many poles as we can on Main Street and, if we continue to get enough money, then work our way down over the next several years.”

Ritenour hopes the project adds to the holidays.

“I just see the holidays in the village as not being very festive. A lot of people do decorate their houses, but we just need to do something on Main Street for sure,” Ritenour said.

He complimented the village of Port Washington for its work to add holiday decorations there. “It’s beautiful. They do a nice job down there,” Ritenour said.

Anyone who would like to make a donation can visit Tuscarawas City Hall Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.

Ritenour said there has already been a lot of buzz about the project and the breakfast.

“Once we start showing what we can do, then I think we’ll get more response. But it sounds to me, just listening to people talk, there’s going to be a lot of people that pancake breakfast,” Ritenour said, adding the committee would like to thank Matt Smith. “He’s actually the one spearheading the pancake breakfast.”

The VFW also donated the use of its building.

“They always step up with anything like this. We’ve always been glad to have them on board,” Ritenour said.

Most of the help has already been arranged to cook the breakfast, but volunteers won’t be turned away.

“We’re going to need some people to wipe tables and clean up trash,” Ritenour said.

Mayor Dana Moore and many of the members of council plan to be in attendance.

Holiday decorations are something new for the village. In the last few years, they have put American flags along Main Street and Cherry Street. Because there is not currently lighting on the poles, the flags are only visible during the day. People have asked about holiday lighting in the past, but until now the village did not have any plans in the works to get holiday decorations.

Once the decorations are obtained and the electric hook-ups on the poles are readied, village maintenance employees will do the decorating. In the meantime committee members are researching the types of decorations that would work and the costs involved.

While thoughts of candy canes, snowflakes and other festive decorations swirl, one thing the committee is sure of is they will use LED lighting for the displays because it uses less electricity.

Just like the Tusky Days Festival, held each summer, is a source of pride for those who live in the village, Ritenour thinks the holiday decorations will be another.

“I think that people are going to see what we’re doing and say, ‘How can I help out?’” Ritenour said.

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