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Despite setbacks, Concerned Citizens of Burlington group keeps spirit alive

Dec. 20, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

BURLINGTON, Ohio -- Through the volunteer efforts of the "famous 12," the Christmas decorations at the Burlington Commons grows a little bit every year.

"We get a lot of good comments about it," said Margaret Pennington, president of the Concerned Citizens of Burlington's decorating committee.

Some of the decorations were bought, but most were made by a dozen volunteers who work on the decorations throughout the year before adding them to existing decorations, said Harriette Ramsey, president of the local citizens group.

"It's a volunteer effort," Ramsey said. "I think it's beautiful. I think anyone who sees it will be impressed."

There has been some vandalism in recent weeks, including an incident after Thanksgiving and another last Friday.

The last vandalism led to the recovery of a figurine of the baby Jesus, which had been taken from a Nativity scene, said Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless. Three South Point men were arrested Friday and cited into Lawrence County Municipal Court on misdemeanor charges of receiving stolen property, Lawless said.

Deputy Nick Waugh stopped a vehicle in the Burlington area Friday and recovered the Christmas decoration, Lawless said.

But the Concerned Citizens efforts won't be deterred by vandals, group members said.

"There's a bunch of us involved" in making the new decorations, Pennington said Monday. "We're all over 65. We try to add something new every year.

"We cut them out and paint them," she said. "We'll start in June or July. We've been doing this for more than five years. We started with just the lights."

After the latest vandalism, the volunteers worked Saturday to replace the lights, Pennington said.

"The vandalism is discouraging, but we plan to keep on," she said.