By Ed Kane, Freelance Graphics
The 2015 Lakewood Tree Lighting celebration enjoyed clear skies and a packed attendance as families helped kick-off the Christmas season. Helping to manage the throngs of joyous kids and parents was the Lakewood First Lions’ Santa and his helpers.
Carolers, crafts and contests, Santas, Santa letters and Lego’s were just some of the activities to brighten kids’ evening and hopes for what may greet them in the early hours of December 25th.
By the time the lighting ceremony was done the throngs swarmed into the halls of Lakewood City Hall to enjoy the displays and, mostly, to line up to take a seat on Santas’ laps – two of them were needed to keep the lines moving. As usual, some kids were quite reluctant to sit on the strangers’ laps and were suddenly quiet when asked what they wanted for Christmas. The younger kids were just baffled by this new experience, but for the most part kids eagerly revealed their fondest wishes for their Christmas.
Meleah Ockimey, a second grader attending the festivities with her mom, Demetria, proudly displayed the necklace she made, while Cori Alexander was assisted by her mom, Sgt. Ryann
Alexander of JBLM-Lewis, in writing Santa about her desires for what appears under her tree.
The Lego design contest proved very popular. Tables lining the entire back wall of the council chamber were packed with designs of every imaginable look and theme. Although 8 year old James Knudsen entered a rather intimidating dragon, Judges gave first prize to Phoenix Shumacher with her depiction of a pretty happy home environment complete with waterfront and boat, a landscaped backyard with BBQ and patio lunch party. For her efforts she won a large Ferris wheel Lego set and a bit of fame when her entry is displayed at the Children’s Museum in Tacoma.
An annual custom for Lakewood First Lions Club is helping to keep activities flowing smoothly in an event dominated by children wanting to be everywhere at once. Lakewood First member Dick Ebbs again served as the primary Santa while the waiting line to see Santa was managed by lions Eric Warn and Kathy Theoe. At least half a dozen members gave their time, talents and patience, making sure the hundreds of kids and their parents enjoyed a frustration-free evening.