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“MEMPHIS, MO – Have you driven down Sigler Avenue in Memphis, MO, in front of the Scotland County Care Center and Scotland County Hospital, to see the 25-foot Christmas tree that serves as a colorful centerpiece between the two facilities? Prepare to be dazzled by its bright beauty! This tree has been an annual tradition for many decades. This year, it was re-engineered to be even more spectacular.
According to Tammy Newland (Hospital Business Office) and Mitch McClamroch, William (Bill) Assell, Hospital Administrator at the time, originated the idea in the 1980’s of having a spectacular tree of lights.
Recently retired Scotland County Care Center Maintenance Director, Jerry Grosenkemper, reports it was originally a joint effort of the Care Center & Hospital, with construction help from the City of Memphis crews, followed by Dave Seppelt, and currently with Jamie Kice, using their bucket trucks. Mitch McClamroch, another long-time employee of Scotland County Hospital, recalls the tree was erected about one year after he started at Scotland County Hospital in 1986. He and Grosenkemper agreed Richard Burlingame, then Hospital Maintenance Supervisor, was largely involved with the original project and welded many of the original rebar light anchor stakes.
Sadly, when the Hospital’s maintenance shed burned in 2019, all tree components were destroyed, resulting in the tree not being displayed during the Christmas season last year. This newly constructed tree is 25 feet tall with 28 strands of LED bulbs attached to the star at the top of the flagpole. This year’s design team, which primarily consisted of Todd Cline and Ty Sizemore from the Hospital’s Maintenance Department, incorporated new engineering techniques, making it energy efficient and brighter.
Jamie Kice, Hospital Maintenance Department Supervisor said, “”We have taken extra steps this year to decorate the campus with every decoration we have in storage to restore some sense of normalcy around here for our staff. I’d like to invite the community to drive by, too, and enjoy the decorations.””
It is no secret tensions are high as the Covid-19 Pandemic continues into the holidays. Humans are exhausted. Healthcare workers are especially frustrated and overwhelmed. Now, more than ever, we need joy, comfort and hope this holiday season. This beautiful lighted tree seems to make the healthcare campus on Sigler Avenue brighter and happier this year.”