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YPSILANTI: Depot Town ushers in holiday season

Ypsilanti Courier

Thursday, December 12, 2013

By Leslie McGraw
[email protected]
Twitter: @LesGo4It

A group of 25 to 30 community residents gathered around Santa and his helpers to light a Christmas tree in front of Sidetracks Bar and Grill in Depot Town on Saturday evening.

The event, hosted by the Depot Town Merchants of Ypsilanti, included caroling outside the tree and was followed by free hot cocoa and cookies served by Café Ollie. “We all try to pitch in and do what we can,” said Danielle Teachout, who owns Café Ollie along with her husband.

Teachout, who has lived in Detroit and Flint before locating to Ypsilanti says there was nothing quite like the group of businesses that make up Depot Town when she lived in either Detroit or Flint. “The holidays are always nice and bring people together,” said Teachout, “But, here [in Depot Town] we always feel together, warm and fuzzy.”

Santa listened to both kids and parents as he “ho, ho, ho’d” from table to table inside of the Café. “My favorite part of the celebration was our big countdown before the tree lit up,” said Santa.

“We come out every year,” said Erin Schaffer and Clayton Gerstner, of Ypsilanti. Gerstner’s mom and brother, of Ann Arbor, came out per invite to join in the celebration. Gerstner’s mom, Janelle, and brother, Sebastian brought the family dog, Mouse, “This is Mouse’s first Christmas tree lighting celebration.”

Written by -

Leslie discovered the power of the pen in the third grade after her family moved to a new school district. Writing became a way to sort out her new surroundings and escape to fantasy landscapes. That child, and voice, has matured into a poet, writer, blogger, journalist, online content creator and editor. Leslie is a social entrepreneur with a demonstrated commitment to community. She is an active community member in Washtenaw County (Michigan) with expertise in social media marketing and content management systems, volunteer coordination and writing and 19 years of experience in the areas of online community management, training, leadership development, and social networking. She is interested in facilitating connection with both community residents and businesses. Through this work, the economy of the community is improved and the organizations are financially successful. Her main mode of advocacy and online community, however, is through writing.

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