Some ideas are so great that we say they figuratively shine a light in the darkness, but Elaine Griesel's brilliant idea literally lights up the dark at the Elkins Depot during the holidays.
Inspired by the Oglebay Festival of Lights in Wheeling, Griesel began purchasing outdoor Christmas decorations for the Depot in 2010. She raised money by selling refreshments at downtown events throughout the year, and also set aside a percentage of the sales at her downtown business, Ceramics with Class.
After placing 17 decorations last year, Griesel was delighted to receive donations from organizations and individuals this year to bring the number to 37. She says others are ready to donate to buy additional decorations for next year.
Griesel believes that the holiday lights will draw people to downtown Elkins, and also to downtown stores. "I think the more decorations we have, the more it will help our economy here in town," she said. "Unfortunately, all these ideas take money to become realities."
Here's hoping that donations keep coming in to make Griesel's dream a reality, and that the success of the Depot decorations effort will shine some light on her as well. Griesel usually prefers to work in the background out of the spotlight, but she is one of downtown Elkins' shining stars.