ALTHA, Fla. (WMBB) — After losing her dad in February, Vicki Fowler came up with the idea to deck the halls for a beautiful Altha Christmas.
“He would say, well I don’t know why Altha can’t look like this again. It used to be so neat, clean, and pretty. And he said I want it to look like this again. And that put a drive in me,” Fowler said.
So Fowler approached her long-time friend Melissa Chamberlain who also recently lost a parent and the idea took off.
Dozens of people began donating in memory of their loved ones.
The original goal was to raise $25,000 and they’re already up to $28,000.
“Oh my gosh, the overwhelming response, we appreciate so, so much,” Chamberlain said.
Chamberlain said many people donated $1,000 dollars.
And not all donations came from Altha– one came from idaho.
Because of all the generous donations, Chamberlain and Fowler decided to keep the donation account open at the Calhoun Liberty Credit Union.
The money is going towards lights for the light poles, Christmas trees, banners, reefs for Town Hall, and inflatables.
Businesses around town also agreed to decorate– like the Altha Diner.
“This is a beautiful, wonderful community and we want to have more spirit here, you know, some of the American spirit and the spirit of Christmas,” Altha Diner Server Dianna Mongiello said.
Altha even has its own Santa’s helper.
Tony Hunter built three nativity scenes to display at the churches around town.
“Well they asked me to do some woodwork for them and it was a challenge but I did it,” Tony Rockin Wood Owner Hunter said.
For Chamberlain, Fowler and many community members, this project has lifted spirits in Altha and beyond.
“He would be smiling. He would,” Fowler said.
The Altha Christmas parade is Friday, December 3rd, at 5:30.
All those new Christmas decorations will be on display for all to see.