SV tree lighters look for support
by Joe Shreve
Jul 26, 2013 | 1442 views | 2 2 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sharolynn Ullestad sets a sponsor's sign in front of the Scotts Valley Christmas tree.
Sharolynn Ullestad sets a sponsor's sign in front of the Scotts Valley Christmas tree.

A group of Scotts Valley businesses and community members has already got Christmas on its mind. Plans to light the community Christmas tree bigger and brighter than ever are gaining momentum.

For many years, the lighting of the large Christmas tree, located adjacent to the Kings Village Shopping Center along Mount Hermon Road, has marked the beginning of the holiday season in Scotts Valley as an ongoing tradition that has been put on by the Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Until now, the decoration of the tree has been funded out of the general budget of the chamber, and labor supplied by volunteers.

But, as executive director Sharolynn Ullestad said, as the tree continued to grow, decorating it became more and more difficult — eventually requiring the rental of a crane.

“Each year it’s harder and harder to put up,” she said. “(It’s) too big for volunteers now.”

After last year — which Ullestad described as something of a debacle due to poor weather — the chamber has organized a committee spearheaded by Jennifer Isola and

Mikala Clements, to seek individual and business sponsorships to light the tree. They aim to raise $5,000 to have the tree professionally pruned and decorated in time for this year’s scheduled Dec. 7 lighting ceremony.

“We decided that we were going to try to light it up really bright this year,” Ullestad said. “If we get enough funding, then we can really put some money into it.”

Isola, the owner of Bean Creek Designs, is thrilled to be part of the process of shaping and lighting the tree to celebrate the holidays.

“Mikala and I are really behind this,” Isola said. “To have it finally done right will be cool.”

Although the details are still being finalized, Ullestad said, the tentative plan will be to offer sponsorships starting at $50. Sponsors would likely be recognized with a personalized decoration on or around the tree.

Typically, she said, the costs to decorate the tree run between $800 and $1,000 — even with the Ow family, which owns the shopping center, covering the costs of the electricity to light it.

Ullestad said that having a well-decorated Christmas tree during the holidays would be a bright symbol of Scotts Valley’s Christmas spirit.

“We’ve been lighting this tree for many, many years but the tree has outgrown us,” she said. “If we get everyone to be a part of it; it becomes the community Christmas tree.”

For more information, or to become a sponsor, contact the Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce at 438-1010.


To comment, email reporter Joe Shreve at, call 438-2500 or post a comment at

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August 21, 2013
I'm surprised it's still allowed. Isn't some politically correct person going to say we can't have a "Christams" tree. Maybe it should be a "holiday" tree.
August 19, 2013
What a great way to bring community together. It would really be great to have an Menorah during Hannukah as well.

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