Westminster light house draws a crowd


December 15, 1997|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SO MANY CHRISTMAS lights are glowing around Ron and Vicki Winson's Westminster home that people often ask, "How much more is your electricity bill?"

Might be up $80 or $90 a month during the holidays, Ron answers. "But considering the amount of joy the lights bring, it's worth it."

More than 25,000 lights surround the Winsons' home.

Two angels hang in the trees, curtain lights and icicles hang around the eaves, and the lawn is filled with reindeer, a snowman, a wishing well and a nativity scene.

Toss in Snoopy, a few stars and hundreds of lights outlining the yard, the driveway and the trees and bushes, and you can imagine the festive scene.

Over the past three years, Ron has added eight new circuit breakers in the fuse box; built out the front porch to accommodate nine outlets, and added other outlets in the flower beds to give his home this heavenly glow.

Sharing the Christmas spirit through their annual Christmas light display wasn't enough for the Winsons. For two Saturdays, they set up free photo sessions in front of their home so people could have their pictures taken with Santa Claus and his elves. The house was the backdrop.

On the first Saturday, approximately 43 people stopped by for portraits.

"Ron is just a happy person all the time, and Christmas is special," said Vicki. "We are just two people who like doing things for other people. We wanted to give back to the community."

A big reason the couple wanted to give something back, Ron said, is because business was good this year -- it almost doubled.

Ron owns Framing Plus in Eldersburg Plaza -- a business that was started by his mother 28 years ago and recently was expanded to include framing and cross-stitching and needlework supplies as well as a gallery.

Customers Charles Hundertmark and Steve Solomon donated their skills to take the photographs each weekend. Joanne and Christina Michael, also Framing Plus customers, volunteered to join Ron's niece and nephew, Michael and Melanie Winson, and his mother-in-law, Evelyn Combs, as elves.

Ron and Vicki played Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Scott and Thelma Carr sold cookies, hot chocolate and coffee so cold customers could warm up while they waited for photographs. Proceeds from the refreshment sales and any other donations went to the neighboring church, Mount Zion United Methodist, where the Carrs and Winsons are members.

"It struck me that if we have the lights, this would be a nice way to share the Christmas spirit," said Ron. "Our customers and friends have been so good to us, we wanted to give something more this year."

The Winsons' Christmas lights are on display through the holiday season, except on rainy nights.

The best view of their home is from Route 97, after you turn off Route 32.

Just ask your children to keep watch on the right side. Soon you'll hear them gasp and say, "Oh, man. Check out all the lights." Turn right on Nicodemus Road. About seven houses up, when the road becomes Old Washington, you'll see the Winsons' home aglow.

Red Cross volunteers

The Carroll County Red Cross honored its volunteers with a dessert social and award ceremony recently at Wilhelm's Ltd. Caterers in Westminster.

About 50 people attended the event.

Kellie Mendenhall, Red Cross board member, was the host; and a welcome was offered by Linda Vanderhoff, director of the Carroll County Red Cross.

Volunteers receiving recognition for their work in disaster services included Mendenhall, Caroline Babylon, Deanna Gaister, Barbara Bankard, Bob Galandak, Marge Libertini, Johnna Suter and Dr. Maria Simonson.

Babylon and Libertini also received awards for their work in health services.

Lisa Breslin's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 12/15/97

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