Young Professionals selling custom Christmas ornaments

Published 9:18 am Wednesday, July 22, 2015

(Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

(Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

Though the area was embroiled in the heat of mid-July during last weekend’s Summer in the City festival, members of the Young Professionals of Greater Dowagiac gave the visitors to their downtown booth a sneak-peak at how they can “Chieftain-up” their Christmas trees this winter.

The organization unveiled its latest project to the public during the Summer in the City Festival this weekend — a “Uniquely Dowagiac” Christmas ornament. The $25 decoration features the mascot of the Dowagiac Union High School Chieftains, along with a “Dowagiac, MI” nameplate.

The Young Professionals have worked on the design of the ornament for the last several months, agreeing to go with the local school mascot.

“We realized that the Chieftain logo and schools are a big part of our community,” said member Jason Wilt. “With all the school pride going on in the community after the Dowagiac United campaign, we thought it would be a good design for our first ornament.”

The members had a prototype of the trinket on hand at their booth for the community to see. The finished ornaments will be made from marble dust and resin, and will be hand painted by the manufacturers, Wilt said.

The proceeds from the sales of the ornament will go toward the costs of the Dowagiac Fourth of July fireworks display, which has been sponsored the previous two years by the Young Professionals.

This will help reduce the dependency the organization has on donations from businesses and citizens to help put on the show in future years, Wilt said.

“Our goal is to have our events like the fireworks self sustaining, so this and other fundraisers we do are designed for that purpose,” Wilt said.

The response from the community to the ornament has been strong thus far, with the organization already receiving around 30 orders, including a few from people living in other states, Wilt said.

The group is hoping to continue to selling Christmas ornaments on an annual basis, introducing a new, Dowagiac-inspired design every year, such as the Round Oak Stove or Heddon company logos, Wilt said.

“We want to use this sale as a fundraiser, but it’s also a good thing for the Dowagiac community as well, so the more we sell the better,” Wilt said.

People can order the ornament online, at, or they can pick up order forms from Bakeman’s Barber, located at 101 S Front St. People are encouraged to place their order by July 31 for Christmas delivery.