A Fresh Start on the Green

Madison First Selectman Fillmore McPherson cuts the ropes to unveil Madisonís new Christmas tree on April 22. With him are the people who made this possible: Mike Grigor of Affordable Tree Experts, LLC, Jay Santoro of Madison Flower and Garden Center, Phil Janssen of Madison Lawn and Stump, and George Gerard of Madison Auto Body.

The blizzard of 2013 left its mark on Madison. Perhaps the most visible proof of that was the tall evergreen at the edge of the Green. The heavy snows and the wind combined to leave too many of the branches bare or broken. It was showing its age. This is the tree Madison traditionally lights each year at the Christmas season.

George Gerard, owner of Madison Auto Body, and his wife, Pat, raised their two children in Madison.

“This community has been very good to us. Our children participated in many of the activities this town had to offer over the years. Now one is an architect and the other is an engineer. George has a business here and the town has been very good to him. He thought it was time to donate to his community,” Pat Gerard said.

George Gerard said, “I contacted the first selectman and offered to purchase a new tree to replace the one that was destroyed. After speaking with my fellow businessmen Phil Jansen of Madison Lawn and Stump, Jay Santoro of Madison Flower Shop and Garden Center, Kenny Evarts of Seashore Construction, Co., Charlie Iselin of Iselin Tree Experts, and Mike Grigor of Affordable Tree Experts, LLC, they all offered their support, and it was decided that together we would donate a new tree to the town, remove the damaged tree, bring in the new tree, and plant it.

“During our discussions, we felt that April 22, Earth Day, would be a perfect day for this event to take place,” he added.

The damaged tree was taken down about three weeks ago and on April 22 Gerard and his assembled “crew” planted a new evergreen. This one is about 20 feet tall—smaller than the original, but with room to grow.

Gerard and friends succeeded in combining two Madison traditions—the Christmas on the Green and donating to their community.


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