Last year, the Paradise and District Lions Club lit up St. Clements while raising funds for the new accessible playground, and now that the playground is complete, the group is looking ahead to new projects for this year’s Tree of Light fundraiser.
Janet Pfaffinger, Lions Club member and Tree of Light chair, says the goal is get a new picnic pavilion right by the playground, selling bulbs one at a time.
Each bulb is just $5, and that money will be going right back into the community.
“We have a pavilion there now, but it needs to be made larger, and some of the wood needs to be replaced. It is going to be updated,” she said.
The whole community is invited to watch the Lions Club light up the night at the Dec. 3 Tree of Light ceremony. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there to join the fun, and guests are invited to keep warm with hot chocolate, coffee and treats. There will also be some new music to keep ears warm.
“We are going to have a local teen band play this year, and they haven’t even given themselves a name yet,” Pfaffinger said with a laugh. “For seven years, we did hot cider, so we figured we would change it up a bit. We are going to have cookies and timbits as well.”
Bulbs are still on sale throughout the town of St. Clements, at Angel’s Breath Florist Shop, Exotic Wings and Pet Things, In Season Home and Garden, the church hall, the St. Clements Arena, Styles by Lori, Creative Hair Works, Kate’s Den and My Sister’s Kitchen.There is another new venture this year for the Lions – a mint smoothie sale. Pfaffinger says the sale has been very successful this year so far.
“We have already raised $700 in profits on the smoothies being sold at the bank,” she said. “People really seem to enjoy them.”
For $5, community members can dedicate a bulb on the Tree of Light in memoriam, or to honour someone. For $50, you can light a whole strand. For a donation over $50, participants can also light the star. The bulb dedications will be read out as the tree is lit.
Last year, the club raised just under $8,000, and they are hoping to match that with this year’s initiative. They are already well on their way.
The ceremony starts at 6 p.m. on Dec. 3, with Santa and Mrs. Claus there to greet the kids at 5:45 p.m. Everyone is welcome to join the tree lighting.