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WNY couple sharing smiles with tree ornaments

When you're out on a walk, look up. You just might find one of their creations hanging from a branch.

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. — Who couldn't use a reason to smile these days, right?

One couple from the Town of Tonawanda is using their time at home to create colorful ways to spread some love and share a smile.

Tim and Mary Courtney go for daily walks and they heard about people putting stuffed bears in the window for kids to seek out, but the the pair wanted to do something for the adults too.

Tim is no professional woodworker, but he knows his way around a power saw. Mary, his wife, had plenty of paint, twine and ribbon — but most importantly, she had an idea to cheer people up.

Credit: WGRZ

They used smaller branches that they had previously taken down in their yard. Tim cut small circles, and Mary went to work decorating small ornaments. Some say 'love' and 'smile." Others have hearts and smiley faces.

Credit: WGRZ

They've placed them on tree branches in their neighborhood and in front of their friends' houses. 

"It's gotta be short enough that I can find it, but tall enough that it's not going to hit somebody in the face," Tim said. "We try to pick the trees that are between the sidewalk and the curb." 

They've hung them in Lancaster, Williamsville, the Town of Tonawanda, North Buffalo, Cheektowaga and Amherst.

They hope a lot of people spot their small surprise and smile.

Credit: Tim & Mary Courtney

They said the tree ornament project is a good way to keep busy and ease their worries.

They have two sons who are frontline workers — one in the National Guard and the other at St. Joseph Campus, the dedicated COVID-19 treatment facility in Western New York.

The Courtneys are trying to share what the masks are hiding these days.

"They talk about, we're missing everyone's smiles. Beautiful smiles you used to see all the time," Mary said. "They're hidden by masks, and you work eight hours a day. I said let's put smiles on the medallions. Hang it and people can get smiles as they're walking."

Credit: WGRZ

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