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Fat Albert gets firm footing at Boardman Park

December 2, 2011
By J.T. Whitehouse
Braving cold temperatures Nov. 23, a crew from Boardman Park, Diamond Steel and Blasco Commercial Services met at Boardman Park to give Fat Albert a new home. The Fat Albert is an 11-foot Blue Spruce hybrid that will be a permanent addition to the park’s landscape. The tree matures at around 15 feet in height and will spread to 10 feet across, thus the official name Picea pungens “Fat Albert.”

The tree was donated by Dave Collins of Diamond Steel in the memory of Clarence Smith Sr., who founded the company along with Compco companies, Adamas Jewelry and Gifts, and was a significant Boardman land owner.

Diamond Steel donated labor and eqiupment to move and plant the tree and Blasco Commercial Services donated the labor and equipment to pick up and deliver the tree from Losely Nursery in Perry, Ohio.

The tree was planted near the gazebo last Wednesday and will be formally dedicated on Sunday during the 15th annual Boardman Community Christmas. The event will begin at 4 p.m. as people gather for Santa’s arrival by fire truck at 4:30. Music and caroling will be led by Linda Smrek and the Boardman High School Band. The event will include free wagon rides, a bonfire, cookies and hot chocolate and a canned goods collection for Second Harvest Food Bank. At 4:45 p.m., the community Christmas Tree will be dedicated and Boardman Park is looking for some help.

“Individuals and organizations are asked to bring natural ornaments on Sunday, Dec. 4 to help decorate the tree," said Dan Slagle, Boardman Park executive director. “Civic organizations are also welcome to bring ornaments that are symbolic of their organizations.”

Besides the Fat Albert Spruce, Slagle said there are other trees in the park to be decorated and any group can sign up to take one on. For those interested in participanting, simply email Sheryle at with the following information: group name, family or school; contact name; address; phone; email; number of trees group wants to decorate; and state if the group is new to the event so a proper sign can be made up ahead of time.

Slagle said the new tree will be an important part of Christmas celebrations for years to come.

“The tree will serve as a living symbol of our community’s Christmas spirit,” Slagle said.

Article Photos

Braving a cold and windy day last week were Jerry Blasco of Blasco Commercial Services; Nevin Lesnoski, Boardman Park groundskeeper; Gabe Manginelli, park maintenance tech; Pete Cordon, park maintenance tech; Jim Feret, park supervisor; and Dave Collins of Diamond Steel. The men gathered to plant a special tree at the park that will be dedicated on Sunday.



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