DuBOIS — The 2017 annual Treasured Scenes Limited Edition Christmas ornament, featuring the DuBois American Legion Post 17, has arrived at the Greater DuBois Chamber of Commerce. But those interested in adding one to their collection better hurry because supplies of this final ornament collection that began in 2000 really are limited.
“We’ve done an ornament every year based on a historical monument, an ideal piece of property, a new construction – something along those lines,” said chamber Executive Director Jodi August. “I know one was the Foradora Building whenever they first did it over there along the railroad tracks. One was the Pershing Hotel, (and) DuBois Catholic School. Last year, we chose Treasure Lake Church, primarily because they reached out to us and it was a brand new construction. They actually wanted an ornament for everybody in their congregation.
“And that’s how we ended up here, at the American Legion.Someone, and again I’m only three years into my position at the Chamber, had told me that the American Legion had shown interest in an ornament years ago, but I’m not sure why they weren’t selected,” she said.
“We were talking about finishing up the limited edition collectible. I thought, ‘If the American Legion was interested, it definitely is a historical monument and placed here in our city,’ so we reached out to John Fritz.”
The chamber has also selected a place that it believes someone would appreciate and value in an ornament, August said.
“We felt that the American Legion was a great place to feature for our final ornament,” August said.
There have been some “hardcore collectors” of the ornaments over the years, she said, citing the DuBois Area Historical Society, a woman from California and a local man who enjoys collecting and clipping the news article about the release of the ornament.
August believes this year’s collectable is “one of the prettiest ornaments we’ve ever had.”
This year’s ornament is a golden yellow color and shows the front of the Legion Hut located on Liberty Boulevard in DuBois.
“With the 100th year anniversary of the American Legion coming up in 2018, both statewide and locally, I’m glad the committee decided to put our American Legion Post 17 on the Christmas ornament,” Commander Ben Cramer said. “It’s a beautiful building and a big part of the community. We try to be good stewards to our veterans, which is our primary purpose, and the community.”
The DuBois American Legion was started in 1919 and the first meeting was held at the former Courier-Express building in downtown DuBois, said John Coccimiglio, Legion finance officer and member of the board of directors. He is also the past state commander for the American Legion. After the first meeting in the Courier building, he said it was later moved to a bank building.
John DuBois donated the property and the logs to build the hut in 1932. The Legion hut was dedicated on Nov. 11, 1932.
“It’s a very active part of the community,” he said.
Coccimiglio noted that two of the Legion’s prominent members were members of the American Legion before they became judges, John Pentz and the Honorable John Cherry.
Back in the early days, there were approximately 800 members. Today, there are about 650 members who are Legionnaires. There are more than 300 members of the Sons of the American Legion and about 275 auxiliary members.
Coccimiglio said it’s very nice that the Legion is being featured as the final ornament in the collection.
A limited number of the ornaments are available to purchase for $15 at the chamber office located at 103 Beaver Drive, DuBois, or at the American Legion, August said.
In addition to the 2017 ornament, August said there are a variety of older ornaments available for sale by contacting the chamber office. For more information, call the office at 371-5010.