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Community Gathers for Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

With the lighting of the library tree, West Deptford officially ushers in the Christmas season.

Even the bizarre weather can’t stop West Deptford from celebrating the holidays. Residents braved the blustery conditions, Thursday night, for the township’s annual tree lighting ceremony and to pay respects to the West Deptford Library’s “Lights of Love” memorial.

Various officials were on hand to partake in the ceremony, which began indoors. Among them, Mayor Raymond Chintall stepped up to say a few words to the residents. Chintall wished the residents of West Deptford a happy holiday, and reminded them to reflect on those less fortunate this holiday season.

“Keep in mind of what's going on in our neighboring towns; pray for them,” said Chintall.

April Maska, president of the West Deptford Library Board of Trustees, also spoke to the crowd while cradling her newborn grandson. Maska thanked the township and the West Deptford Library Friends for their support.

Founder of  “Lights of Love” Georgia Gibson read off each individual name on the memorial, before the crowd made their way outside for the lighting.    

And of course, what good is a tree lighting without a few Christmas carols?

Returning this year, the Gloucester County Children’s Choir performed classic numbers, such as “O’ Christmas Tree” and  “Joy to the World.” 

A reception inside the library immediately followed the ceremony and provided locals with an opportunity to warm up and to enjoy some light refreshments—courtesy of the staff. Residents also got a chance to check out the “Lights of Love” poster memorial proudly displayed in the library lobby and to hear how Gibson started the initiative.

“Lights of Love” is an annual fundraiser, which provides residents an opportunity to honor those who have died. Names of the honorees are displayed on the memorial, which will remains in the lobby throughout the holiday season.   

Do you have your own tree lighting photos? Feel free to upload to our story by clicking "add photos and videos," above. 

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