Hudson Community Foundation building endowment to light holidays

Kent Weeklies
University of Maine Cooperative Extension has a variety of publications developed for wreath, garland and centerpiece makers.

The Hudson Community Foundation (HCF) has begun building an endowment fund in partnership with the Hudson Community Service Association (HCSA) to ensure the city’s downtown greens are festively lit for the holiday season each year in perpetuity.

“The holiday lighting of our greens is one of the cherished community traditions that make Hudson such a special and inviting place,” said HCF President Amy Jordan. “Our goal is to ensure that this tradition continues for generations to come.”

An endowed fund for the holiday lighting will require that a total of about $200,000 be raised over time. The goal for 2020 is to raise $20,000 during the holiday season toward that endowment goal.

“Many people don’t know that Hudson’s holiday lighting is a long-standing public-private partnership. It brilliantly demonstrates the power in our community coming together,” Jordan said. “The City of Hudson and Hudson Public Power take care of hanging the lights each November and supplying the electricity used through the holiday season. But private funds raised annually for decades by the HCSA Lighting Committee pay for the actual lights, roping, wreaths, bows and the closely watched Clocktower Mouse. The annual fundraising has ebbed and flowed over the years. In the future, with an endowment in place at HCF, annual fundraising will no longer be necessary.”

The holiday lighting endowment was inspired by HCF’s multi-year work in building an endowment, which was completed in 2019, to fund Hudson’s annual Independence Day Fireworks in perpetuity.

“Through the generosity of hundreds of donors – including families, individual and businesses – we now have the funding fully secured at HCF to support the fireworks year after year without additional fundraising,” Jordan said. “That is the same vision we have for our holiday lighting going forward.”

Hudson’s holiday lighting tradition was started in 1948 by Hudsonite Mary Lou Morse, her family and friends. As a way to celebrate the end of World War II and a return to peace, the Morse family began stringing holiday lights on the small trees that had been planted on the Village Green. Over time and as the trees grew tall, HCSA began to provide the lights (more than 8,000 energy-efficient LED bulbs today) and decorations while the city provides the equipment, labor and electricity to bring the lighting to life.

“We are asking everyone to join together to make a donation to the Holiday Lighting Endowment Fund so this very special lighting can continue to be part of the Hudson experience for our families and visitors into the future,” Jordan said.

Contributions to the Holiday Lighting Endowment Fund can be made online at or mailed to Hudson Community Foundation at PO Box 944, Hudson 44236 for the benefit of the holiday lighting fund.

Founded in 2000 and now celebrating its 20th anniversary, Hudson Community Foundation’s mission is to enhance the overall quality of life in Hudson by increasing charitable giving, educating and connecting donors to community needs and leading on community issues. Supported by hundreds of local donors and Donor Advised Funds, we ended 2019 with assets of $22.6 million. The foundation operates from an office in the historic Baldwin House on Hudson’s village green and is governed by a volunteer board of directors.