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DeMuth Florist winner of Connellsville decorating contest

| Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, 4:39 p.m.
Lori C. Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Demuth Florist again took the 'Believe in Connellsville' Christmas window decorating category with their winter woodlands scene on one side and 'The Grinch Who Stole Christmas' on the other. Mayor-elect Greg Lincoln (second from left) presented the business with their award. Designers are (front) Barb Minick and Shelly Ritenour. Standing are Karey Katona (left), Lincoln, Elizabeth 'Tibby' Trump, Nate Savanick (owner) and Kelly Darnell, artist.

DeMuth Florist in Connellsville was the winner for the second year of the 2013 Believe in Connellsville Christmas Decorating Contest.

The store is located at 302 N. Pittsburgh St.

“We are pleased, we love it. We are proud to be the winner for the second time,” said Elizabeth Trump, manager.

Trump is excited with what is happening in the city.

“On the day of It's A Connellsville Christmas, with the skating rink and everything, I thought it was fantastic, I haven't seen that many people in Connellsville in years. I'm glad that Shallenberger Construction is redoing the Aaron's building, I'm happy to see things in McCrory's and Murphy's buildings.” said Trump.

The windows at DeMuth show the spirit of the holiday.

One window is decorated with the Grinch. It was started in the summer when store owner Nate Savanick brought in lime green trees and glittering garlands and the staff started thinking about what they could do with them.

Kelly Darnell is the artist. She drew the Grinch. Her dad loves the Grinch and had a book of cartoons that they went through for ideas.

Staff members all contribute, including Karey Katona, Shelly Ritenour, Barb Minick and Don Hann.

The other DeMuth window is completely different. It has real stuffed pheasants, one from Trump's husband Keith, two from Tom Ranker and the other one from Chelsea and Brandon Ritenour. There is also a deer.

It is an outdoor theme that will probably stay in through winter, said Trump, noting the windows almost always have a theme. In fact, store personnel have one in mind already for Valentine's Day.

“When we design a new window we can't wait to put it in. We all look forward to it. We put a lot of time into doing each one,” said Trump.

DeMuth Florist carries a wide selection of gifts and design items including candles, candy, cards and all types of lighted angels, Santas and arrangements.

Connellsville Area Community Ministries was awarded second place.

“I appreciate the work of the volunteers who decorate the windows at Connellsville Area Community Ministries. Linda Basinger, Drema Hubbell and the other volunteers that assist them do a great job with the windows as they dress them for each season. These ladies take great pride in their work and it shows by the attractive displays they create. We see these windows as part of our ministry to the community,” said Chip Rowan, executive director.

An honorable mention was the Historic Train Station on the West Side purchased recently by Somerset Trust Company.

“The decorating of the train station for Christmas will be an annual tradition for Somerset Trust Company and is a small portion of our commitment to the Connellsville community which we are proud to be an integral part of,” said Joe Klocek, branch manager of the Connellsville branch located inside Walmart.

The Believe In Connellsville judges tabulated the results. DeMuth Florist had 59 points; CACM, 46; The Health Insurance Store, 44 points; T & A House of Treasures, 43 points; and Waive and Jane's, 42 points. Honorable mentions each received 30-36 points and include Lions Square Park, Bike's Unlimited, West Side Jewelry and Somerset Trust Company.

“Thank you to everyone who participated again this year to brighten the ‘Jewel of the Yough' for the Christmas season. It seems everyone works harder each year and we only hope this effort will continue to grow and grow. The job of the four judges was a very difficult one, scores were awarded on illumination, use of color, and a theme,” said Judy Keller, BIC member.

“The CACM theme was The Gift That Keeps Giving and it was wonderful. T & A House Of Treasures window was filled with angels. The Somerset Trust Company is not yet officially open in the city, but the icicle lights adorning the historic train station on Seventh Street made the building come alive again,” Keller.

Next year the group hopes to expand to a residential category and have the general public serve as judges with a ballot format.

Nancy Henry is a contributing writer.

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