Printed on: November 27, 2012

Christmas decoration leads to donation

By Laura Zuckerman

SALMON -- In the spirit of the season, the Salmon artist who fashioned a three-dimensional star for the top of the community Christmas tree is donating the bulk of proceeds to Superstorm Sandy victims.

Artist Don Moore, celebrated for metal work he mostly crafts in a wood-fired forge, was hesitant to accept payment from the Rotary Club in Salmon. The club commissioned the iron ornament.

Moore's concerns were tied to the commercialization of Christmas. He wondered whether it were appropriate to accept money for the outsized star that he welded from materials that cost $100.

Moore said his worries eased when he decided to give the money to people who are suffering from the losses from the superstorm that ravaged the Atlantic Coast last month.

He said a friend grew up in a part of the New Jersey shore that the storm destroyed. And he lately was in contact with a New York City firefighter who barely survived 9/11 only to come face-to-face with Sandy's wrath.

"It's still in the news, but not like it was, and yet some are still in desperate straits," he said.

Rotary paid Moore a total of $400 for the one-of-a-kind creation. He said a large portion will go to families in the Northeast.

"I'm pretty grateful for what we've got," he said. "We've dodged the bullet on a lot of these natural disasters."

It is the first time the community Christmas tree -- towering spruces donated each year by residents or organizations -- has been topped by a custom-designed ornament.

The community tree was lit Friday evening after the Christmas parade.