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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Resident encourages visitors to donate to charity

  • Rita Wright says people often stop by her home asking if they can take photographs.
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  • Rita Wright says people often stop by her home asking if they can take photographs.
    That's the Leavenworth woman has two tree trunks in her front yard that have been carved to resemble morel mushrooms. One of them is more than eight feet tall.
    "I've been inundated with people pulling in my driveway," she said.
    Wright doesn't mind people taking pictures at her residence, which is located at 508 S. 20th St. But she said it would be neat if the people who stop and ask permission would agree to make donations to charity.
    She suggested making donations to the local Relay for Life program, or its offshoot Bark for Life. The programs raise money for the American Cancer Society.
    "Whose life hasn't been touched by cancer?" she said.
    She also suggested the Alliance Against Family Violence in Leavenworth as another local charity.
    "They are all non-profits," she said. "They all do great things for people."
    Wright said both of tree carvings were made by Russ Ehart, a local chainsaw artist.
    "He does beautiful work," Wright said.
    The first carving, which is more than 5 feet tall, was made from the trunk of a Colorado blue spruce. The second and taller of the two carvings was made from an Austrian pine tree.
    "And I lost both of them to disease," she said.
    The first carving was created in 2011. The second one was completed a few weeks ago.
    Wright said she chose morel mushrooms because everyone in her family loves them and the size of the tree trunks created limitations.
    "And I didn't want gaudy yard art," she said.
    She said her father took her mushroom hunting as a child.
    "We did it as family," she said.
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