She donated York City's Christmas tree but will never see its lighting

John A. Pavoncello
York Dispatch

York City's Christmas tree arrived on Continental Square on Wednesday morning, fulfilling the dream of a donor who didn't live to see the tree become the centerpiece of the city's holiday festivities. 

The 30-plus-foot blue spruce started its life as a house-warming gift for John and Kathy Rhoads of Springettsbury Township.

"Every year the city puts a call out  for people who have a tree that needs to find a new home," said Mary Yeaple, York City's special events coordinator.

Kathy Rhoads

Kathy Rhoads saw the request and talked her husband into applying. A crew from the city visited the offered trees and chose the Rhoads' spruce to decorate  the square for this year's holiday season.

"This was Kathy's dream, to have their tree be the selected tree," Yeaple said.

Kathy Rhoads died Oct. 24, the day the family received the call that their tree was selected. 

"It's an honor for us to be able to do this," John Rhoads said as the crew prepared to cut down the tree in his front yard. "I just can't be any more happy."

The tree will be illuminated during the annual Light up York event Saturday, Dec. 7. For more information about the event, visit yorkcity.org/LightUpYork.