JARVIS—The Jarvis Elves are ready to spread some cheer as the 2023 Jarvis Light Up season is officially underway. This year’s event promises to be the biggest one yet with more partners, sponsors, and volunteers working together to ensure its success.
Among the many lights that will shine through the holidays are two special blue trees, located at Jarvis’ main intersection of Hwy. 6 and Hwy. 3, which are part of the Norfolk Haldimand Community Hospice (NHCH) Blue Light Campaign. The fundraising campaign is inspired by and in loving memory of Michelle Lindsay King-Pezel.
NHCH shares that Michelle passed away suddenly in September 2022. Her father, Rick King of Caledonia, was inspired by the NHCH Holiday Tree of Hope in Port Dover and wanted to see a tree of blue lights – as blue was Michelle’s favourite colour – closer to home in memory of his daughter.
According to NHCH, “Through the sheer determination of a grieving father, Rick found support from the Caledonia BIA and together they made the ‘Michelle blue light tree’ happen. It is his hope that together we can not only keep the spark lit in memory of Michelle but also that the blue light trees in Haldimand and Norfolk will offer an opportunity of healing to other grieving families.”
Visitors to Jarvis Light Up can scan the QR code on the sign by the blue memorial trees and access the NHCH site to purchase a blue light to shine in memory of a loved one. As stated on the sign, “By making a donation … you are supporting grief and bereavement services in our community and helping to build a centre for hospice palliative care to serve both Haldimand and Norfolk.”
Crystal Pogson, NHCH board member, believes that partnering with Jarvis Light Up is a beneficial way to raise awareness of this fundraising campaign. She says, “There is the fundamental component of bringing our community together…. There’s no better way to kick off this event than with the memorial tree light up.”
Recognizing that the holidays can be a difficult time of year for those experiencing loss and grief, the organizing committee appreciates that the memorial trees contribute to the inclusiveness of Light Up. Anita Priestly, NHCH secretary, concurs saying, “It allows everyone to be a part of Light Up.”
While Light Up visitors can look forward to new features, including larger light installations at various businesses and more events during the December 16 grand finale, an important part of Light Up is returning in 2023 – the food drive. This will take place at the grand finale with volunteers from the Doughty & Williamson Group coordinating the effort.
Volunteers are the driving force behind Light Up with generous sponsors providing the resources to create a memorable event. Among this year’s sponsors is a group of Jarvis area farmers that have teamed up to support Light Up festivities. A sign listing each farm can be seen at the main intersection. As Jarvis Light Up kicks off there is much to look forward to in 2023. The town will gradually grow brighter as residents and businesses decorate their homes and properties. That brightness comes not just from each shining light but from the spirit of community that never fades away.
For more information visit jarvislightup.ca.