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Bradenton condo says 'Merry Christmas' in big way

MANATEE -- When Bob Sanders writes in cursive, he really writes.

Sanders, who formerly designed electronic controls for General Motors, wrote a nearly 6-story “Merry Christmas” and “Peace on Earth” in Christmas lights on the side of his condo at 3740 Pinebrook Circle in The Woods at Pinebrook.

“They look good,” said Anthony Desane, 7, who is visiting his grandparents, Bob and Pat Mann, two of Sanders’ Christmas decoration team.

Standing on balconies at the condo, also known as Building 18, Sanders needed four days to string all the lights, something he has done for nearly a decade.

“He’s the No. 1 man,” said Building 18 resident Steve Friedman, himself a member of the decoration delegation, assigned to railing lights.

But Sanders, who does the lights immediately when he returns to Florida from Lebanon, Ind., said Thursday that he couldn’t pull it off without his “team.”

“The people here are very special,” he said.

Bill and Judy Brown of Buffalo, N.Y., decorated the condo garage and pre-tested all the lights, which are on a timer that activates them from about 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Michigan native and now year-round Floridian Gladys Moore, who moved into Building 18 in 1993, decorated the lobby and elevator.

Bob Sanders’ wife, Donna, made sure her husband spelled the words right.

Ray Rusek decorated the bushes and his wife, Dottie, cooked golabki, a Polish dish also known as pigs in a blanket.

The Manns decorated the hedges.

Besides the giant words, Sanders also created two giant poinsettia flowers, two 6-story green, red and blue Christmas trees and other attractions on the side of the building.

“This would never happen at a condo back in Long Island,” said Bob Mann’s daughter, Nicole Desain, who was visiting with her husband and two boys, Anthony and Justin, 9. “They don’t put that much effort into things like this back there.”

Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411, ext. 6686.

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