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The 2019 class of the Fountain Hills Leadership Academy has teamed up with I Love Fountain Hills, also known as the Fountain Hills Cultural and Civic Association (FHCCA), to sponsor the live poinsettia tree for this year’s Stroll in the Glow. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Poinsettia Tree Project in Fountain Hills and the second year it is being sponsored by Fountain Hills Leadership Academy graduates.

The 14-foot tree, which holds 220 live poinsettia plants, is the legacy of Bill Muehlhauser and Neal Ipema, who were both residents of Fountain Hills when they helped start the tradition of the living tree in 1999. Muehlhauser is credited with bringing the idea to Fountain Hills, while Ipema designed and built the metal form.

Members of the community are invited to purchase a poinsettia plant for this display in honor of a special person or in memory of a loved one who has passed. The names of both the donor and the honoree will be displayed next to the tree, which will be installed just in time for the Dec. 7 Stroll in the Glow event on the Avenue of the Fountains. The tree will be maintained throughout the holiday season by this year’s graduates of the Fountain Hills Leadership Academy.

“I know I speak for our entire class when I say it’s an honor to help with this festive Fountain Hills holiday tradition,” Christopher Siino, co-chairman for this year’s project, said. “It’s a great way for residents to come together in a project that commemorates the people we love and displays our community’s holiday spirit.”

Leadership Academy graduates Sharron Grzybowski and Debbie Clason are also co-chairs for this event.

Poinsettias are $15 each for members of FHCCA or $20 each for non-members. Orders should be placed online at ilovefountainhills.org using credit card or PayPal, or by filling out an order form available at the Fountain Hills Community Center. Order forms and checks should be mailed to I Love Fountain Hills, P.O. Box 18254, Fountain Hills Arizona 85269. The order deadline is Wednesday, November 27. An order form is also printed in this issue of The Times. The tax-deducible donation can be made by credit card or PayPal. I Love Fountain Hills/FHCCA is a 501(c)3 organization.