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'Christmas Tree Lady' inspires Relay team

By Staff
Kim West
When Dorothy Pierce Dolan passed away Jan. 25 from lung cancer, the longtime Christmas tree proprietor in East Franklin inspired her granddaughter, Amy Dolan Gunderman, to form a Relay for Life team in honor of the lady best known as the "Christmas Tree Lady."
"My grandmother's dad, Homer Pierce, had cancer, too, and I remember coming to the cancer walk as a little girl with my grandmother," Gunderman said. "She would come and light the luminaries for him, and I thought we should do something for her, too.
"I had a hard time dealing with her death, so I decided to come up with a way to take my mind off it and honor her memory because she always wanted to be known as the 'Christmas Tree Lady.'"
Gunderman formed the Christmas Tree Lady Team, comprised of 40 family members and friends, including her grandmother's longtime friends, Anthony and Chiquta Baker. Her sister, Julie Bolton, and aunt, Doris Patterson, are the team's co-captains, while Gunderman is the team captain.
The team, which is also selling green T-shirts featuring a red-and-black Christmas Tree Lady design for $10, has set a fundraising goal of $1,000 and will hold its primary fundraiser Thursday at B&J Caf/ in East Franklin, which was Dolan's favorite restaurant. Approximately 10-15 team members will work as servers during Tip Night from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the restaurant, which is located at 1327 Shelnutt Loop.

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