Bath Borough Council members from left to right: Frank Hesch, Phyllis Andrews, Barry Fenstermaker, Douglas Hamadyk, Mayor Fiorella Mirabito, and James Lisiecki

Residents withstood the rainy weather as the Borough of Bath held their annual tree lighting ceremony on Sunday, December 3 at Monocacy Creek Park. 

After being rescheduled from the previous Sunday due to inclement weather that day as well, Mayor Fiorella Mirabito prayed for the rain to let up prior to the event.

However, a little drizzle never hurt, so those in attendance came prepared with umbrellas in tow. Then, halfway through the ceremony, the rain stopped, just in time for Santa’s arrival. 

“The weather didn’t cooperate, but it certainly didn’t dampen the spirit of all who came out to see our beautiful Christmas tree ready for the season!” said Mirabito.

To begin the ceremony, Pastor Terry Walsh from St. John’s Lutheran Church provided the opening prayer, followed by a beautiful rendition of the “National Anthem” sung by Charlotte Raynor from Doylestown.

Bath Borough Council Vice President Frank Hesch then thanked those in attendance and shared a few words on behalf of council.

“Although the weather may not be ideal, the display of community and togetherness can’t be dampened by any amount of rain. These are the moments we should cherish throughout the year,” Hesch expressed.

Next, Sarah Brandl led the George Wolf Elementary School chorus as they sang carols such as “Showbiz Snowman,” “Jolly Jingle Christmas Medley” and “Silent Night.”

Although the GWES chorus was a tough act to follow, Father Christopher Butera from Sacred Heart Church blessed the Christmas tree and asked that its light shine forth and be a sign of joy in the borough. 

“May happiness fill our hearts this holiday season as we, the citizens of Bath, welcome all people in a spirit of liveliness in the same way this Evergreen tree radiates its life and its light in our community,” prayed Butera.

Following, Mayor Mirabito revealed: “Every year it is my honor and pleasure to choose someone in the community that has made a difference or has gone above and beyond. This year, I chose Mrs. Dawn Mayer. She is the director of St. John’s [Lutheran Church] Nursery School, but that’s just one of the things she does.”

According to her bio, Mayer moved to Bath in 1998 hoping to find a better life and place to raise her three daughters. She has been very active with the children of Bath over her 21 years as a preschool teacher at St. John’s Lutheran Church Nursery School and hopes to continue the wonderful experiences she’s had with the children for years to come.

During her speech, Mayer disclosed that her son-in-law has a genetic disease called Alport syndrome. Although the family knew about it for years, they didn’t think the disease would become critical until later in life. However, they recently got the news that her son-in-law’s health was declining and he had to be placed on dialysis, which was rough for their family considering he and his wife have a young daughter. 

As they desperately looked for a donor match, Mayer’s daughter Melody said she’d try, and lo and behold, she was a match!

Mayer explained that during the last part of the process, the donor team meets with donors and asks them some questions. They asked Melody: “Why is it that you want to donate this kidney?” 

Melody confessed, “I have a niece that’s going to need her daddy around for a long time.” So, she stepped up to the plate to selflessly donate one of her kidneys to her brother-in-law. 

“I feel honored that I was asked to do this tonight, but I thought, there’s nothing that I have done that measured up to what Melody has done. So, in honor of Melody, I’m going to let her flip the switch tonight,” beamed Mayer.

Then, the audience helped count down from five as Melody lit the tree, and everyone cheered as the colored, twinkling lights illuminated the park.

Next, Mayor Mirabito thanked Unangst Tree Farm who donated the then 10-foot tree back in 2014, Bobby Siegfried for providing audio for the event, Council Pro Tem Barry Fenstermaker and his wife for donating the candy canes that the big guy handed out to children, the members of Bath Borough Council, as well as their office staff, Public Works Department, the Bath Fire Department and their Fire Police, Father Butera and Pastor Walsh for providing spiritual guidance, Mountain Creek Riding Stables for providing the free horse-drawn wagon rides and Cub Pack 33 for providing hot chocolate and cookies during the event.

“On behalf of my family, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year,” effused Mirabito.

Then, Santa Claus rode in on his big red firetruck, before posing for photos, giving out candy canes and listening closely to all of the children’s Christmas wishes.


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