Peter “Rocky” Winter — the developer who owns the property on Park Street where the Nativity scene had been set up since the mid-1980s — contacted St. Pat’s Parish Administrator John Strazanac on Aug. 1 to offer it for purchase.
A request for donations was presented to the St. Patrick’s/St. Anthony’s parishioners the following Sunday. One family, who requested anonymity, stepped forward and donated the entire $6,000 needed to buy the scene.
To purchase the set new today would be in excess of $25,000, Strazanac said.
Since the purchase, church staff and volunteers have been restoring many of the life-size fiberglass pieces. More cosmetic work will be done once the set is stored for the off-season, Strazanac said.
Richard Szczepanski, a staff member, has donated approximately 40 hours repairing the figures so they can be displayed for the holiday season. He said there has been a lot of damage over the years.
“It is my hope that the community of Grand Haven will feel welcome to visit the Nativity scene at anytime and capture the spirit of Christmas,” said Father Bill Langlois, the church’s priest.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.