Rebecca Jensen, wife of Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen, makes ornaments out of upcycled material. Proceeds benefit Grand Prairie charities. Photo courtesy of city of Grand Prairie.
Dec. 6, 2017
A Grand Prairie tradition of selling holiday ornaments for charity has taken on an environmental theme, thanks to the Mayor's wife Rebecca Jensen.
The tradition of selling ornaments designed by the wife of the Grand Prairie mayor was started by Janice England, wife of retired Mayor Charles England. The ornaments are sold by the city with the proceeds benefiting the Lone Star Charitable Foundation, which grants money to Grand Prairie charities.
Since taking on the project in 2013 when her husband, Ron Jensen was elected mayor, Rebecca Jensen showed her eco-friendly side by using natural and recycled material in her ornament design.
“The first year I used old books from Ruthe Jackson,” Jensen explained. “I want to use things that I love and that mean something to me so that is what I have been doing each year.”
The following year, she created a Victorian Cone. In 2015, she used wooden disks with “Peace” scripted in center. Last year, she created a tabletop tableau featuring steepled church blocks.
Each year, the wood, sticks and branches she uses for the ornaments are collected from her property and the paper comes from recycled books.
Amy Sprinkles, Grand Prairie communications and libraries director, said the previous first lady created her own designs, while a company manufactured them. However Jensen chose to personally assemble, paint, adorn, glitter and decorate each one of the ornaments made for the project.
"She's a big do-it-yourselfer," said Sprinkles. "She's truly an upcycler, repurpose/reuse type of person. At home, she repurposes old furniture. She makes purses out of old boot shafts."
This year Jensen has made 200 ornaments to sale.
“We usually start [with 200], then she makes more as we need them,” said Sprinkles.
There are six different designs for 2017, including a red fire house, honoring the Grand Prairie Fire Department¹s 100th anniversary.
The ornaments range in price from $10 for one, to $25 for three ornaments. According to Sprinkles, the ornaments have raised $500 to more than $1,000 in previous years.
“I like to do things that are natural, interesting and fresh,” Jensen said. “Every year I challenge myself to make something people will buy.”
14th Annual Grand Prairie Ornament Sale
About: Grand Prairie hosts an annual ornament sale, with ornaments designed by the mayor's wife. Proceeds benefit Lone Star Charitable Foundation, which grants money to Grand Prairie charities.
Where: The ornaments may be purchased in person at:
• City Hall, 317 College St. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday
• Tourist Center, 2170 N. Belt Line Road, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday
• Warmack Library, 760 Bardin Road. See website for hours.
• The Main Library, 901 Conover. See website for hours.
When: The ornaments will be on display through the end of December. They are available for purchase year-round at Grand Prairie City Hall and the Tourist Center.
Cost: $5-$15. Some ornaments are available from 2004 to 2016 for $5 each, discounted from their original price.
Info: Amy Sprinkles, 972-237-8140