Donation toward artificial tree brightens Envision Frankford’s holiday celebration

FRANKFORD – Santa came early for the greater Frankford community.

Chesapeake Plumbing and Heating presented Envision Frankford with a donation of $5,000 in early November toward the purchase of an artificial tree that will brighten the community organization’s holiday spirit and celebrations in the town park.

At left, Travis Martin, owner of Chesapeake Plumbing and Heating Inc., and Deb Chaney, Chief Financial Officer for Chesapeake Plumbing and Heating, present a $5,000 check to Envision Frankford chairman Robbie Murray. Envision Frankford used the generation donation in the purchase of an artificial Christmas tree for the Christmas in the Park celebrations.

“A center-piece at the park was our goal and now we have one for years to come,” said Envision Frankford chairman Robbie Murray. “The unique thing about this Christmas tree is while it is 20 feet tall this year, we have the ability to add height to it in future years.”

“This is our third year of having Christmas at the Park.  Honestly, we wanted an artificial Christmas tree for the park from the beginning but could not afford it,” said Mr. Murray.

“Charitable giving is not new for Chesapeake,” said Travis Martin, owner of Chesapeake Plumbing and Heating. “For years, we have relied on our employees and partners to direct donations and volunteer service to the communities we serve. But this is home. No matter how big we grow or where we serve, Frankford will always be where Chesapeake is located.”

Envision Frankford’s Christmas in the Park will kick off this Saturday, Nov. 25 with the lighting of the new tree at 6:30 p.m. The entire event, which runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., will feature a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus along with choirs and children leading attendees in singing carols.

For the first time, a live nativity scene will be performed. Adding to the festivities: free cookies and hot chocolate will be available.  There is no admission; everything is free to the public.

Weekly celebrations at the park will continue as children can visit Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Santa House Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Again, there will be free hot chocolate.

The welcoming archway at Envision Frankford’s 2016 Christmas in the Park.

The Chesapeake Plumbing and Heating company started in a small one-story building and soon outgrew its capacity. To meet the need, Chesapeake constructed a two-story office building across the street and within two years, was at capacity again.

Seeing the need for larger facilities, Chesapeake will soon break ground on a larger building, still in Frankford. The company’s growth is no secret; Chesapeake has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in the United States for the past three years.

“We are going to bring good jobs to Frankford. This is a great place for Chesapeake,” said Mr. Martin. “We want to be a good neighbor and invest in Frankford’s future.”

Strong partnerships drive rapid success

Through donations of time and money, Envision Frankford has been quick to see their plans become reality.

The first priority was a Santa House for the park.  Nearby Mountaire contributed a donation to cover the cost for getting that established.

In the second year, the group received a grant that would cover the costs of the tree, but opted to use it for an outdoor movie screen and AV system to host movies in the park that would build community unity during the warmer months.  The audio system is useful throughout the year during all of the town’s community events.

For the 2016 Christmas event, they opted for a live 20-foot tall tree but found that keeping it stable was a challenging task.

“While it looked fine, it was a constant nightmare,” said Mr. Murray.  “Over the last two years we did save some of the donation money in hopes of purchasing a tree. Honestly, we were one big donation away. This is where Chesapeake came in.”

Envision Frankford’s collaborative effort encompasses the town of Frankford, Frankford Public Library, Frankford Antioch AME Church, Frankford United Methodist Church, The Fathers House, Frankford Presbyterian Church and the Frankford Volunteer Fire Company and Auxiliary.

Envision Frankford’s recent Halloween extravaganza drew upward of 500 people.

“Everything that we do is about bringing our community together,” said Mr. Murray. “We want everyone having a festive time, enjoying themselves, spending time with friends and neighbors that they don’t get to see every day.”

For more information, visit Envision Frankford on Facebook or contact Chesapeake Plumbing and Heating at 732-6006.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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