THE COAL CITY Area Club’s infamous willow tree is taking on new life as a wood carving. The art piece will feature all of the creatures that call the club home. The artist creating the carving is currently working on the piec, which is expected to be unveiled on Saturday, Aug. 9.
The majestic willow became a landmark for members of the Coal City Area Club.
It gracefully stood at the edge of the ski beach near the curve in the road that leads to the swimming area. It was a popular gathering spot for countless club members and their guests.
A multitude of stories can be told of the fun and mischief that took place around the tree. For now, the gatherings are over as the tree has died and been removed, but there will be no weeping over the willow.
Three new willow trees have been planted in its place and the trunk of the infamous willow is being brought back to life as a wood carving.
Todd Cumming, a club member and the town's unofficial fundraiser, commissioned the wood art piece as a gift to the club. He has setup a fund to cover the cost of the carving, as well as the planting of new trees. The project is estimated to cost more than $2,000, roughly $1,800 of that will go to cover the cost of wood carving that will feature all of the animals that call the Coal City Area Club home.
Cumming anticipates the carving will include fish, deer, raccoons, owls and geese.
The artist creating the carving is currently working on the piece and is expected to unveiled it during a party at the willow, Cumming said.
Details of the Aug. 9 event are still being worked out. In order to attend individuals must have an official, Party at the Willow can koozie. Proceeds from the sale of the koozies is what is paying for the wood carving.
The green and gold koozies are $5 each and can be purchased in Coal City at the Coal City Area Club office, 345 S. Broadway; Standard Bank & Trust, 20 S. Kankakee St.; and Babe' Tap, 755 S. Broadway, and in Diamond at Mazon State Bank in Diamond, 2315 E. Division St.
Cumming has secured a section of the old tree to be sliced and specially branded as keepsakes. Individuals interested in purchasing one of the wood slices can contact Cumming directly at 815-634-2058.
A Facebook event page, Party at the Willow(s) has been established to keep club members informed of the Aug. 9 party.