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Southwest Daily News - Sulphur, LA
  • Neighbors lend hand to keep Christmas tradition going

  • On the cold and windy morning of Saturday, Nov. 23, seven volunteers — Daigle, her granddaughter Elise Nicholson, neighbors Michael and Robin Baudoin, along with Renee Stanley, Francis Daigle and Tony Hogan — arrived on the Bonins' doorstep ready to decorate.
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  • Glen and Georgia Bonin are well-known throughout Sulphur and the surrounding area for their community-minded philanthropical efforts. And in the Gilmore Acres subdivision, where the Bonins live, they are also known for their holiday decor, some of which could be considered antique. The couple have decorated their Alabama St. home every Christmas for the 47 years they have lived there. But with their recent health battles making it difficult to do the work, Glen Bonin told to his neighbors in August that there would be no decorations this year.
    "We decorated every year. It is part of our history," said Glen, who has been dealing with back issues since breaking it about three years ago, "We just couldn't do it anymore."
    "We could not imagine not having the Bonins' home decorated. It had become a tradition in our neighborhood," said Janet Daigle. "All of our hearts were heavy when he told us."
    A group was soon organized. And on the cold and windy morning of Saturday, Nov. 23, seven volunteers — Daigle, her granddaughter Elise Nicholson, neighbors Michael and Robin Baudoin, along with Renee Stanley, Francis Daigle and Tony Hogan — arrived on the Bonins' doorstep ready to decorate.
    "We couldn't believe that they would take this kind of time to do this. It was unbelievable," said Glen, "It was a beautiful day. It made us feel so good."
    "They are really nice people. It was easy to help such kind people," said Michael Baudoin.
    For some, placing the various decorations, which included Santa and his reindeers strewn high along various tree limbs, was an easy job.
    "It had long been a part of our lives so we knew where everything went," said Robin Baudoin.
    The Christmas bears, however, offered more of a challenge. There are 42 of them and they line the inside stairway in chronological order from the landing to the front hall. The Bonins have been collecting bear couples since buying the first pair in Nova Scotia back in 1992.
    "I think they had the most fun with the bears on the stairs. I had the most fun listening to them figure it all out," said Glen.
    "[The bears] are like their children," Daigle said with a laugh and the Bonins agreed.
    "I've never had anyone do what they did," continued Glen, "I could almost cry over it."
    But just as grateful the Bonins are for the helping hands of their neighbors, those same neighbors are just as thankful for what the couple has given to the neighborhood.
    "It was easy for us to give back after everything they have done for our community," said Daigle.
    Robin Baudoin agreed, adding, "I think it is an equal amount of knowing they are happy and making us happy. It is a good thing to come around the corner and see the lights on. I need that."

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