East Brewton tree part of ‘bucket list’

Published 10:46 pm Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Wanda Williams tied yellow ribbons around the fir tree in her yard when her husband Todd was fighting in Iraq during Desert Storm.

When the couple moved to the house on Duncan Street in East Brewton, the tree was no taller than Todd, and never seemed to grow.

“When he came back, it shot up,” Wanda said.

And up and up — so tall, that it was simply too big for their yard anymore.

Williams, who has been battling a debilitating disease for months, knew she wanted to “leave a legacy” in her community.

So the family decided to donate the tree to the City of East Brewton for this year’s Christmas tree in Fort Crawford Park.

Sunday night, as residents gathered to sing Christmas carols near the gazebo, Mayor Terry Clark flipped a switch on hundreds of tiny lights to illuminate the night.

The Williamses — with their daughter Sarah Elizabeth — were on hand for the show, just as they watched the tree get uprooted last week for its big move to the park.

“They had to rock it and roll it to get it up,” Wanda recalled, laughing.

First-grader Sarah Elizabeth was thrilled to see her family’s tree lit up and decorated for all of East Brewton.

“It’s really great, great, great,” she said, dancing around her parents Sunday night.

For Wanda, who continued treatment this week for her illness and is hoping for good news from her doctors, donating the tree was a way to give back to the community — and to fulfill an item on her “bucket list” before her illness progresses.

The family took a few more photos in front of the tree Sunday night, because, Wanda said, “This was where we always took our photos. I’m not sure what we will do now.”