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Moundsville celebrates Christmas tree lighting

Moundsville celebrated its 15th annual community Christmas tree lighting on Thursday evening.

The Moundsville community came together to continue a Christmas tradition and to honor one of their own.

Gold, Khourey and Turak hosted its annual tree lighting in Moundsville on Thursday night.

"It's an opportunity for the local children of the community to come in and meet with Santa and tell them what they need this year,” said attorney John Turak.

Kids could spend time with Santa Claus, who was brought in by the Moundsville fire department, just like every year. But different this year was who lit the tree.

This was the first tree lighting without Fire Chief Noel Clarke, who died in November after a battle with cancer.

“Regrettably we lost one of Moundsville's finest this year, Chief Noel Clarke,” Turak said. “He's been a friend of ours, obviously a friend of the community for many, many years. He's made substantial contributions to this community."

Gold, Khourey and Turak reached out to the department, to continue the tradition and start a new chapter in their long-standing relationship.

"Noel did this for years for them,” said Acting Fire Chief Gary Brandon. “They've taken a yearly picture with him and everything. When they approached us about doing it, we were honored to do it, just for Noel."

"He's no longer with us, which makes it hard. At the same time, it makes it special, because we are trying to live on with him,” Brandon said.

Organizers say from now on the tree will be known as “The Chief's Tree,” with many tree lightings planned for years to come.

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