Holiday Village Returns Despite Theft

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Gary Ladouceur's holiday village in Ogdensburg will be a lot smaller this year.

It's all because thieves stole the majority of lumber he used for his cheerful creation last March.

But that hasn't stopped his Christmas spirit from growing.
 
"There was no reason to deprive the children of what they have every year, which is the spirit of Christmas," said Ladouceur.
 
His North Pole village in Flat Iron Park was much bigger before thieves made off with more than 50 sheets of painted plywood he used to set up the various buildings.

No one was ever apprehended in the theft and Ladouceur says he hasn't sought donations to replace the costly stolen lumber.

Instead, he decided to make do with what he has left.
 
"There's no greater satisfaction than seeing the smile on a child," he said.
 
As he begins reconfiguring the miniature layout of his North Pole Satellite Office, using an assortment of joyful characters, he does have one new addition this year.

It's a special note to Santa asking that the person responsible for taking what took countless hours to make receive nothing more than - you guessed it - coal.
 
With a lighting ceremony planned for Sunday at 4 p.m., Ladouceur knows he has his work cut out for him.

But, he says the display had to go on for the joy it brings to the kids and the neighborhood.        

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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