The 31st Annual Tree of Lights is set to light up the Village Green this holiday season on Saturday, December 4th, 2021 at 5:30 p.m..
You can be part of the celebration by placing a red light on our tree in honor of or white in memoriam of a person, family, friends, and others.
The names of honorees and remembrances will be posted on the illuminated display on the Village Green in time for the ceremony for those dedications received by November 30th. The display and our website will be continually updated throughout the holiday season. The dedications can be seen below.
To place a light on the tree, please complete the printed Dedication Order Form and mail it along with your tax-deductible donation of $50.00 per light or click the appropriate link below.
Your contribution to the Tree of Lights is not only a symbol of your feelings of gratitude and love, but also serves to help the Watchung Volunteer Rescue Squad with major endeavors. This year, through the generosity of the residents and businesses, the squad continues to provide high-quality, excellent Emergency Service. Thank you in advance for your continued support and contributions.
Place a red light on our tree to honor a person, family, friends, and others. Please include the name(s) of the honoree(s) in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org after your transaction.
Place a white light on our tree in memoriam of a person, family, friends, and others. Please include the name(s) of the remembrance(s) in an email to email@example.com after your transaction
The members of the Watchung Rescue Squad are proud to dedicate this year's Tree of Lights to the Educators of Watchung: Teachers and administrators at Bayberry, Valley View, Mount St. Mary's Academy, The Giving Nest Preschool, and Watchung Hills Regional High School.
These individuals have shown their tremendous dedication to the community throughout this pandemic. Educators have had to completely alter their lesson plans, teaching styles, and engagement tactics in order to adapt to a hybrid-based model of schooling. Many teachers are spending hours sanitizing their classrooms, working extremely hard to ensure that our schools are safe for students to return.
At the Watchung Rescue Squad, we are filled with members of the community that have been through the Watchung education system. We have always been appreciative of our high-quality school system and the absolutely incredible educators that fill it, but now more than ever, we want to thank the people that are building the next generation of amazing citizens.
Thank you, educators of Watchung.
Years ago, Judie McCumber came back from a vacation on Martha's Vineyard and told the Squad she saw a great idea that we could use as a fundraiser - a Tree of Lights where residents could place a light on the tree for a donation. She convinced then Captain, Shirley Cattabiani and Diddy Addario, President that it was worth pursuing. Never mind that there was no Village Green or no tree in the gravel parking lot by the lake. With Judie's persistence, Shirley's "can solve any problem" attitude and Diddy handling the town fathers for permission, a tree was brought it, set in a base and strung with lights. The annual Tree of Lights was born.
Based on Judie's suggestion, the "original tree three" created a winter festival and fundraiser for the Rescue Squad that has become ingrained as a Watchung tradition. The annual Tree of Lights ceremony originally took place every year on December 7th in honor of Pearl Harbor Day and in recognition of all those who lost their lives on that day and all the members of our armed forces who gave their lives fighting for our freedom. Over time out of necessity, it was moved to the first Saturday of December. For a donation your loved ones would be honored or remembered on the tree. Red and white lights were placed on the tree: red in honor and white in remembrance.
Through the years, many others have kept the Tree of Lights going through their dedication and support, and we thank everyone who has participated either through their contributions in organizing and setting up the event, attending the lighting ceremony or making a donation for helping keep the tradition alive!