Donations continue to pour in to aid Palmerton's quest to decorate its borough park with new lights in time for Christmas

The Palmerton Holiday Lighting Committee on Friday received several more contributions during a gathering at First Northern Bank & Trust, Palmerton.

Among those on hand to make the donations were Carla Schmidt, assistant vice president, bookkeeping supervisor, First Northern Bank & Trust, Gilbert; Susan Choy, vice president, mortgage loans, First Northern Bank & Trust, Palmerton; Michael Harleman, executive vice president, First Northern Bank & Trust, and Dawn Ferrante, executive director, Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corporation.

The donations were as follows: $1,000 from the CCEDC; $1,008 from First Northern Bank & Trust, Palmerton; and $352 from First Northern Bank & Trust, Gilbert.

Joe Federanich, chairman of the holiday lighting committee, said "The Chamber donation is actually a portion of the profit made by the chamber at the Palmerton Community Festival in the past two years."

"The money from First Northern Bank [& Trust] is monies collected from their employees dress down days, and was matched by the bank, [thereby] giving a generous boost to our holiday lighting fund," Federanich said. "The Gilbert branch donation is especially heartwarming, as those employees, though not working in Palmerton, chose to help us to brighten the holiday season."

Federanich said the donations were a welcome addition.

"These donations, combined with all the community support from individuals, businesses and civic groups, move us closer to our goal of providing Palmerton with a much brighter future," he said. "The park will be lit in multicolored lights and snow flakes to remind us of days gone by when lights surrounded the park."

Federanich added that the donations brings the committee ever closer to its overriding goal.

"It is our goal to improve and brighten all of the Palmerton main business district for the winter holidays," he said. "The park project will be completed for this year, and the Delaware Avenue portion will be hopefully completed for the 2014 season."

Last month, the committee ordered 29 silhouette snowflake lights, as well as colored string lights, that will appear around the park along Third Street, Fourth Street, and Lafayette Avenue in time for Christmas.

In June, the committee sent out a donation form to households, businesses, and organizations within the Palmerton area to solicit community support to help underwrite the cost to purchase new decorations for the borough park in time for Christmas.

Mailings were made to Aquashicola, Bowmanstown, Kunkletown, Lehighton, and Palmerton area homes all within the Palmerton Area School District.

About 1,800 people were expected to get their solicitation as part of their quarterly sewage and water bill from the borough, at which time the committee will make additional donation forms available at the three banks in town, the Palmerton Area Library, and the Palmerton Memorial Pool.

Federanich said those who would like to contribute may mail their donations to Holiday Lighting Committee, 410 Delaware Ave. Palmerton, Pa. 18071. Those who send in a donation will receive a thank-you letter, he said.

The lights around the park along Delaware Avenue are expected to be ready by Christmas of 2014.

The committee will host a December in the Park event on either Saturday, Dec. 7, or Sunday, Dec. 8, from noon to 5 p.m.

At a Palmerton Chamber luncheon in March, Federanich said the borough would like to have new Christmas decorations throughout its downtown by 2014. The town committee was formed to pick the decorations, and help raise money to afford them.

Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce president Peter Kern previously noted that the original decorations were put up in the 1990s, and refurbished about 10 years ago.

The next meeting of the Palmerton Holiday Lighting Committee will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday.