Story by Lon Tytell
Pine Island Chamber of Commerce Board members, Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton, Warwick Town Councilman Russ Kowal, and members of the Pine Island community assembled at the Pine Island Park on Wed., Dec. 7 for the annual lighting of the Christmas Tree. This event is sponsored by the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce.
Katie Lynn Rudy Tomczak made arrangements for Andrew Stephens, a sixth grader and cancer survivor who finished his treatment this past summer, to have the honor of turning the switch to light the Christmas tree, assisted by Leonard DeBuck, president of the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce. Stephens enjoys the Christmas season because he spends time at home eating dinner with his family, making gingerbread houses, and decorating the tree with candy canes. He was thrilled to be the one to light the tree this year.
Kendra Ackerman, the president of the WVHS choral group, the Meistersingers, introduced the group and they then shared a variety of Christmas carols including: “Joy to the World,” “The 12 Days of Christmas,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
“This was a great opportunity for the Meistersingers to participate in a community event filled with much love and holiday cheer,’ said Ackerman. The Meistersingers are raising money to take them to a competition at Hershey Park. They will accept phone call requests for $5 for caroling and are available to perform at parties.
Pastor Tim Anderson, pastor of St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church, shared some inspirational words before joining the Meistersingers in a beautiful rendition of “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
Young children who attended the event had the opportunity to sit in a 120-year-old sleigh, through the generosity of Chamber Board member John Redman. The pavilion at the Pine Island Park was decorated by members of the Chamber board, their family and members of the community. The highlight of the decorations was a lighted Frosty the Snowman. Cookie trays and apple cider, donated by ShopRite of Warwick, along with hot cocoa, tootsie rolls and candy canes, were served to all those in attendance and the children each received coloring books.