Contest winner finds healing through decorating


By Heather Lusk

The Zionsville Village Residents’ Association hosted its fifth annual Holiday Decorating Contest. The competition was open to businesses and private residences in the village and judging took place Dec. 1.

The home of Susan Danner won the grand prize in the residential category, based on originality, arrangement and overall presentation.

Danner’s home had always been decked for Christmas and Halloween. But in the past two years since the death of her son, she could not bring herself to decorate.

“It’s a grieving journey I wouldn’t wish upon anyone,” she said.

This year, she recognized that she needed a way to stay busy and occupy her mind, so she decided to enter the Zionsville Village Residents’ Association’s annual holiday decorating contest. She won the grand prize in the residential category.

“It’s a labor of love,” she said of her decorating style.

All of her materials are from Goodwill and when it’s time for the decorations to come down she donates them to others, never displaying the same theme twice.

This year her home at 150 W. Walnut St. is covered with wrapped packages. She’s previously used ice skates, gingerbread and burlap filled with lights as decorations.

“When I figure out what to do, then I go start collecting,” Danner said. “You don’t have to have a lot of money to decorate.”

She already has an idea for next year but is unsure if she’ll still want to decorate.

“I take one day at a time,” she said.

With a total of 15 entries, more people entered the fifth annual ZVRA contest than any previous year.

Winners of the holiday decorating contest also included: A Bond of Life Adoptions (grand prize winner – business), Allure Salon (first place – business), Salon G (second place – business), Nikki Blaine Couture (third place business), Paul and Kelly Mills at 290 N. Maple St. (first place – residential), Jennifer Hegeduis at 170 N. 6th St. (second place – residential) and Amy Lacy at 105 N. Maple St. (third place – residential).

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