Memories are burning bright once again on the Tree of Honor.
The tree, which grows beside the Welcome to Eatonville sign at Nevitt Point on the Washington Avenue entrance to town,is sponsored every every year during the holiday season by the Eatonville Day Break Lions Club.
The first lights on the tree are gold, symbolizing “Lionism,” said the club’s Jackie Hollingsworth. The lights are changed to purple in honor of loved ones. The people doing the lighted recognition pay a $10 donation per bulb, which supports community causes backed by the club.
So far this year, 26 people people are being memorialized by the twinkling lights.
The names range from Wanda Boness, former owner of Spanaway Speedway, to Mount Rainier National Park rangers Margaret Anderson and Nick Hall. All three died this year.
Others incude Kent Mundell, Beverly Cronkhite, Douglas Cronkhite, David Bowers Dean Bowers, ElzearBowers Joan Bowers, Pauline Marrs, Andrew Lusink, Jesse Wright-Cronkhite, Pete Ross, Dick Lusink, Michael Griffin, Mark Griffin, Michelle (Griffin) Jones, Leni Gordon, Leon Leiter, Jim Ray, Lester Leiter, Sadie Cronkhite Holms, Bill Bartel, and Warren and Anna Leucht.
In the tree’s nine years, it has raised somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000. Most of the money goes to Eatonville Family Agency’s social services, including the backpack program that provides food on weekends for needy children, Hollingsworth said.
“Most of our members are associated with the various activities at the community center (where Family Agency is based), so we are aware of most of the needs, as they come up,” she said.
The club also supports Cub Scouts Pack 604, the Spring and Fall Health Fairs, the Eatonville community’s float in the Daffodil Festival parade, and Fourth of July events..
“I’d say 90 percent of what we raise stays in Eatonville, in one place or another,” Hollingsworth said. “We don’t do a lot of fund-raising for just one issue. We raise the funds and then have them available when they are needed.”
Another club activity has been to show the community’s appreciation to first-responder agencies.
Hollingsworth, at 360-832-2416, Family Agency director Gail Elliott (360-832-6805), or any other Day Break Lions Club member can be contacted to purchase a light for the Tree of Honor.