Riverview recognizes holiday lighting contest winners

Photo courtesy of the Smathers family. The home of Vilma and Thomas Smathers, 17046 Valade, was chosen by the Beautification Commission as the annual Riverview Hall of Fame inductee for their longstanding tradition of outstanding holiday decorations.

Photo courtesy of the Smathers family. The home of Vilma and Thomas Smathers, 17046 Valade, was chosen by the Beautification Commission as the annual Riverview Hall of Fame inductee for their longstanding tradition of outstanding holiday decorations.

By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers

RIVERVIEW – Winners of the Beautification Commission’s 16th annual Holiday Home Decorating contest were recognized Dec. 19 at the City Council meeting by Commissioner Betty Hajkus and Councilman Elmer Trombley.

Vilma and Thomas Smathers, 17046 Valade, were inducted into the city’s Hall of Fame in recognition for their longstanding achievement in holiday decoration.

The 2016 winners include Barbara and Talivaldis Kalvans, 19651 Coachwood; Matthew Taylor, 19307 Brandywine; April and Brian Scamp, 17779 Clark; Frank Fisher, 15690 Cumberland; and Tab Cote, 17916 Poplar.

Recreation Department Director Todd Dickman said each year Beautification Commission members drives around the city to view the holiday decorations and select the winners. Wreathes were presented to the winners in appreciation for their contributions to holiday cheer throughout the city.

Trombley recognized the Department of Public Works employees for decorating the DPW and the Municipal Complex.

“It is one beautiful piece of work,” Trombley said. “Director Jeff (Webb), thank you, and all your employees.”

Mayor Andrew Swift recognized the Scamps and the Smathers for embodying the spirit of “Light Up Riverview” by collecting decorating materials and decorating the houses of residents unable to decorate on their own.

“They did an outstanding job,” Swift said.

He joked that the Smathers should get the Griswold Award, referring the the 1989 movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” in which Chevy Chase’s character lights his house with 25,000 twinkle lights and causes a city-wide power shortage.

“We are still working on trying to get a DTE Award because it is people like the Smathers who keep DTE in business,” Swift said.

He presented each couple with holiday centerpieces donated by the Riverview Kiwanis.

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