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Decoration fundraiser at halfway mark

Nearly half of the $7,000 needed to hang Christmas decorations throughout town and put up the Season’s Greetings banner on the Hotel La Jolla bridge astride Torrey Pines Road has been collected so far by La Jollans continuing to “dig deep” for a holiday fundraiser.

“As of today (Monday) we’re just a little bit under $3,500, with some checks supposed to be dropped off tomorrow,” said Joe LaCava, chairman of two local community advisory groups who is spearheading the fundraising drive. “We certainly do appreciate it.”

The fundraiser became necessary with the plight of Promote La Jolla, the community’s business improvement district, which used to pay for annual holiday decorations but can’t this year because it is has limited funds until its contract with the city of San Diego is renewed.

LaCava said a Web site set up to popularize the drive and help collect donations for it, www.lajollagives.org, has been helpful.

“We got hits after the last (Light) article ran,” he noted. “It’s helped in getting the word out and in reaching out to people who are busy doing a lot of things these days.”

LaCava added the community has until about mid-November to collect funds needed to pay The Decor Plan of Poway to put Christmas decorations up the week after Thanksgiving, which falls on Nov. 26.

Greg Heer, owner of The Decor Plan, which hangs banners for business improvement districts throughout San Diego, said all of La Jolla’s Christmas finery is stored in a warehouse ready to go.

“We’ve got 50 shooting stars and 50 Christmas banners both with garlands and lights that are wrapped around poles, as well as the 4-foot-by-50-foot Season’s Greeting sign that goes on the bridge over Torrey Pines as you come into town off Highway 52, " he said.

Heer said it typically takes his work crews three nights, starting at 10 p.m., to put up Christmas decorations using a 38-foot boom truck with a basket. The process is repeated after Christmas when the decorations come down and are re-stored.

The Decor Plan does other work throughout La Jolla Village at other times of the year, hanging community banners for promoting annual events like La Jolla Music Society’s Summerfest and the Jewel Ball put on by Las Patronas.