Mrs. Rose's second grade at Bloomfield Elementary School made paper chains and doves to decorate one tree near the front door, the Shakamak Girl Scouts made ornaments for a tree decorated in Laker blue and white. Another tree is decked out with ornaments made by WRV Worthington Elementary students. All of the ornaments at the door to one of the courtrooms were made entirely from recycled paper goods by sixth grade students at Eastern-Greene and art students from Linton Elementary. Ornaments by Linton first grade students are hanging on a tree by the east entry.
The Bloomfield Cheerleaders created the ornaments for a special pink and white cancer awareness tree featuring red roses, pink lilies and pink ornaments with names to honor victims of cancer.
"I was in Indianapolis with my husband a few years ago and we were on the Circle downtown where they had a Christmas tree for every county," said Sanders. "They were decorated so nice but when we found the tree for Greene County, it was empty!
"I wanted to change that but I don't even know if they do it anymore, have those trees for counties. So instead, I got the idea to have our students contribute ornaments to decorate the trees in our county courthouse."
Sanders contacted some teachers and for the last couple of years, students have contributed the ornaments to the county - this year there were enough to decorate 10 large trees.
The trees were showcased during the annual holiday open house at the courthouse on Friday.
A few years ago volunteers with the county's CASA program sponsored an early-December open house in the courthouse with holiday refreshments to showcase items donated by local businesses for a silent auction to benefit children who are in the court system.
Working hand-in-hand with the volunteers for Voices for Kids - an organization that raises funds that go directly to help CHINS (Children in Need of Services) children, CASA's open house has grown along with the quality and quantity of items in the auction, the light refreshments have become breakfast and lunch buffets homemade by the CASAs, and the hallway is decorated with one tree after another. It's become an annual event with a visit from Santa Claus, caroling by children's singing groups and a time to visit with friends.
Sanders said the ornaments will be up in the courthouse until after Christmas. Then she'll take them all down and return them to the schools to give back to the students as a permanent memory.
The public is welcome to visit the courthouse and stroll the hall to look at the decorations throughout the holiday season.
Sanders said the Bloomfield Elementary second grade class will be visiting the courthouse on Tuesday to take a look at the tree they helped decorate. All the other classes in the county are also welcome to visit as well as any who did not participate this year but might want to next year.