Bio: Ewing, Harold - Honored by Kiwanis Club (Oct 2011)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Ewing, Osegard, Bailey
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/09/2011
Harold ‘Pete’ Ewing Honored by Kiwanis Club (- 2011)
“Pete” Ewing (l) was honored by the Kiwanis Club for his contributions to preserve the Christmas Star over the years. Larry Osegard (center) presented a certificate to Ewing, with his wife Sue standing by. Contributed photo
By Tony Opelt
Harold Ewing was honored Monday, Oct. 31, by the Kiwanis Club for his years of dedicated service to the town of Neillsville. The Kiwanis Club has always supported Neillsville and felt Harold, or as everyone calls him, Pete, was due to receives some praise and recognition for his deeds.
For several years, the Kiwanis Club has been charged with maintaining the Christmas Star on top of the water tower next to the high school. What most citizens of the county do not realize, however, is that Ewing has been the one donating the money for the star’s upkeep and maintenance. In fact, for several years, Ewing has been the sole donor for the star.
Ewing said he could not remember a time when the star was not on top of the tower; even going as far as to recalling an old story his mother always told him. It is a story most children of Ewing’s age remember from their parents. They were told when the star would turn on, that meant Santa was watching them, because only he could get up to the top of the tower to turn it on.
“From that time on, you better be good. He leaves an elf up there to turn it on and off and to spy on all the kids,” Ewing recalled his mother’s words.
He, like most people, believe the star is a heritage to Neillsville; it can be seen from everywhere in the town. He goes on to say it is not elaborate because it is not supposed to be. It is simply a beacon, and he is glad the Kiwanis Club keeps it up.
This is not Ewing’s only foray into charitable works, though. Together with his wife, Sue, they have been known to give candy to the to the Memorial Hospital around the holidays and have bought multitudes of hats from the American Legion to support them.
When the Kiwanis Club received news protecting the wiring for the star by a conduit was going to cost over $1,000, they contacted Listeman Foundation, who was more than willing to help cover the costs. However, that was only the back-up plan. The club saw Ewing had put a lot of his heart into the star over the years and so contacted him to see if he’d like to help as well, and after a few days of thinking it over, Ewing graciously covered all of the costs on his own.
“I’ve carried it this far,” Ewing said. “I’ll carry it the rest of the way.”
Thanks to Ewing, the Christmas star is not going anywhere anytime soon, which is truly fortunate, as it is the most noticeable and the most well-known Christmas decoration for Neillsville.
“We just wanted to recognizer Pete’s contributions to the Kiwanis Club for the stat and for Neillsville itself,” Jim Bailey of the Kiwanis Club said. “It’s nice to know even in this day and age where the big guys – the Listeman Foundation or the Men’s Club – are known for their charitable donations, that the little guys like Ewing can still be appreciated.”
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