What a year! Just when good news seems to be winning, some piece of bad news comes along to make us remember the things, and people, we miss. Bad news takes so many forms: the death last week of two young and good people in Fraser; devastating and deadly fires; a bad medical diagnosis of a loved one; absent friends and relatives over the holidays, and the interruption of traditions and events dear to many of us. So many reasons to be sad.
But at the end of each day it’s good to recall the simple joys that this Valley of ours brings to us: A simple smile hidden behind a mask accompanied by a sweet “hi Bruce”; a door opened by a stranger at the very crowded Post Office; news that you’re going to be a grandparent twice over: a repair man making a special effort to fix an urgent (at least in your mind) problem; a phone call (ok, Zoom) from friends and family, even if they’re just down the road; banana bread baked by a bored but kind neighbor and delivered in person to your door step; a friend that walks at your pace as you hobble along on a bad knee; and finally the knowledge that snow is here. This may seem like a long list, but it doesn’t take much thought to make it even longer. That is the real good news.
So, the bad news of the cancellation of the Festival of Trees is soften by the knowledge of the work of so many Lion’s Club members who tried to make it happen, even if it didn’t work in the end. It also comes with a pledge by these same folks to make sure the Festival continues in future years and a thank you to those 25 businesses who offered to host a tree (the Lions offered them free Christmas trees) and also a $100 donation to each non-profit that had planned to participate. I’ve also learned that Santa will be at the Festival next year, and in a brand-new suit made by Mrs. Claus.
As you read the below notice on the cancellation of the Festival and other events please balance it with the many joys this valley, and its people, offer us every day. I do it most nights listening to a favorite singer (usually Jerry Jeff Walker) and an adult beverage. It just takes a moment so make your own list.
LIONS CLUB CANCELS FESTIVAL OF TREES
To Mitigate COVID Risk
The Fraser River Valley Lions Club made a difficult decision on Monday night, cancelling the 17th annual Festival of Trees due to the worsening COVID pandemic. Greg Orzech, President of the Lions Club, said, “The Lions Club wants to do what’s best for the health of our citizens and our business community. Even with the changes we made to the Festival format this year, the Festival poses unnecessary risks.”
The Lions Club reformatted the Festival this year, moving it from the Rec Center with hundreds of guests to placing trees in 25 local businesses for non-profit organizations to decorate and the public to stop in to view. Local businesses stepped up big time to host trees and 25 non-profit organizations readily signed up to decorate them. But it wasn’t to be in this COVID year! Jan Boynton, co-chair of the Festival is deeply disappointed that there will be no Festival this year but believes the decision was the right one. “This isn’t the time to ask non-profit volunteers to gather together indoors to decorate trees or to encourage our neighbors and friends to visit stores just to look at trees. But we’re optimistic that the Lions Club will be back next year to put on a traditional Festival.”
The Lions Club wants to extend our thanks to the businesses that volunteered as tree hosts and the local non-profits who were ready to decorate a tree. To express the Club’s appreciation for their commitment—and holiday spirit—the Lions Club is making a $100 donation to each non-profit organization that signed up to participate and offering a gift certificate for a free Christmas tree from the Lions tree lot at Murdoch’s to each business host.