Christmas spirit helps new Lions Club create Lights of Love in downtown Coldwater

Christmas trees line the walkway at Four Corners Park in Coldwater, Michigan, as part of the LIghts of Love project. (WWMT/Jason Heeres)

It was a new project for a new club, with a goal of helping the community.

On Dec. 1, when the Lights of Love were flipped on - the Branch Area Lions Club found their efforts rewarded. The project's goal of 50 trees was far outpaced by the final tally: 82 decorated and dedicated Christmas trees.

Terri Huffman, president of the Branch Area Lions, said members of the newly chartered club said they launched the event this year to raise money for planned service projects. In particular, the club is helping people in Branch County who are in need of eye exams and glasses, and hearing aids.

The trees were purchased and decorated for a $100 donation to the project. Each tree was then decorated in honor of a loved one or a cause.

The trees were donated by Harold Shultz and Neal Dantes of Coldwater, Michigan. Other organizations helping with the project include major sponsors Clemens Food Group, Dynamic Hardscapes and Construction, Pure Envee and Southern Michigan Bank and Trusts. Coldwater public works employees built the stands.

On Dec. 1, a lighting event was held, in conjunction with the community's Christmas parade and the Domestic Violence Shelter's Pancake Supper with Santa, where the Lions also donated books for the children. During the event, Coldwater Mayor Tom Krammer read each dedication sign as the individual trees were lit.

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