A West Deer preschool teacher continues her tradition of bringing a Hallmark-like holiday setting to town with her Christmas tree program.
Caylin Zaremski is leading the “Our Trees of Light” project which aims to give back to the community by installing Christmas trees in the township. The idea arose out of his love for the Hallmark Channel Christmas movies showing the trees in his hometown.
“I wanted to bring this here. I wanted them to mean more than just planting a tree, ”said Zaremski, 23.
This will be the second year that she will exhibit trees in the city. Last year, Zaremski exhibited trees in front of the Saint-Victor and Transfiguration sites in Notre-Dame-des-Lacs parish. The trees were decorated with ornaments showing the names of those who died from the covid. Proceeds from the people who purchased the ornaments were divided between the parish and Hope Squad, a peer-to-peer suicide prevention program in the Deer Lakes School District.
The first year brought 180 ornaments. Zaremski said the moment was both bittersweet and heartwarming for her. She hand painted all the ornaments.
“It was a bit difficult to paint the names of those who died,” she said.
This year, Zaremski will double the holiday cheer by displaying four Christmas trees in West Deer.
Two trees will be on display in the two churches of the parish. Ornaments will be on sale for people to have the name of a family, business, organization, or anything related to the community to be imprinted on the decorations.
A third tree will be on display at the West Deer Dog Shelter. Past and present pets can be honored with an ornament.
Zaremski’s father, Rob, gave him the idea of exhibiting a fourth tree at the WWII memorial on Bairdford Road. Ornaments can be purchased for families with veterans or serving military personnel.
“If there are soldiers deployed, it could be a link for their families to honor them for being away from home for the holidays,” said Rob Zaremski.
Proceeds from each tree will benefit the parish, the West Deer Dog Shelter, the Backpack Initiative to Fight Hunger at Deer Lakes, and the K9s for Warriors mission. Checks should be addressed to the organization to which a person wishes to send a donation.
The trees will be installed on December 11. The ornaments will still be available for purchase for the duration of the Tree Show until January 8. The ornaments can be recovered later.
Despite the double burden this year, Zaremski looks forward to the joy she experiences in doing something good for her community.
“I love this city so much and I love every chance we have to be together,” she said.