Residents in the Village of Sand Lake have stepped up to make this year’s celebration on Saturday even more special than in year’s past.
Not only will they have the annual Santa parade and a visit with Santa at the library, they have decorated a special tree in Salisbury Park and will hold a tree lighting Saturday night.
The pine tree was planted in the spring of 1984 by the Mothers Club of Sand Lake Elementary, in honor of Jennifer Suzanne Kowalczyk, 12, who died of Burkettes Lymphoma. Jennifer, the daughter of Mike and Sue Kowalczyk, was a 7th grader at Tri County Middle School, and attended Resurrection Lutheran Church with her family. Jennifer died on March 30, 1984, at St. Jude’s Children Hospital. Each year, the church holds a fundraising preschool bike-a-thon for St. Judes, that raises awareness of the needs of cancer stricken children like Jennifer. The bike-a-thon has reportedly raised thousands of dollars for the hospital in her memory.
And now the community is lighting her tree.
Volunteers decorated the tree and the fencing around it. “Volunteers too numerous to name came together for a labor of love,” said one resident. “We thank the community for decorating and their donations.”
The fun starts at 10 a.m. this Saturday, December 10, with the Santa parade, at the corner of Fourth and Lake St. The parade will go down to the Sand Lake/Nelson Township Library, where Santa will see children beginning at 10:30 a.m. The Christmas tree lighting and caroling will start at 6:30 p.m., and winner of the Gingerbread Contest will be announced at that time. Refreshments will be served afterward at the VFW Hall.