Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite’s annual holiday tree-lighting ceremony was a little extra special this year, thanks to guest of honor Jamie Parmer of Coarsegold, Calif., and a toy drive for Valley Children’s Hospital in his family’s honor.
Jamie, 6, who just finished a three-year course of treatment at Valley Children’s Hospital for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, helped the resort light its 35-foot holiday tree on Nov. 26.
Following the ceremony, Jamie’s family, including parents John and Becky, older brother Andrew and sister Jasmine, enjoyed a holiday sleepover hosted by the lodge. Leadership from the Delaware North-owned-and-operated Tenaya Lodge wanted to help make the holidays extra special for the Parmers, who also suffered the loss of an older son, Peyton, earlier this year.
Guests and locals were invited to the grand tree-lighting ceremony, which included holiday hot beverages and a visit with Santa. In the spirit of giving, Tenaya Lodge encourages all guests attending to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the kids at Valley Children’s Hospital. Items requested include new, unopened toys for infants through teens, gift cards for popular retailers such as Target and Old Navy, board games, craft sets and new clothing items, including pajamas, undergarments and T-shirts.
“We wanted to do something positive for local families facing hardships and are so pleased to be supporting Valley Children’s,” said Paul Ratchford, Tenaya Lodge’s general manager. “The Parmer family has had an extremely difficult year. We are honored to have them join us for this year’s tree lighting and our entire team looks forward to helping create happy holiday memories for Jamie and his family.”
The holiday tree-lighting marks the official kickoff of Tenaya’s holiday season and its exciting lineup of fun activities and events for the entire family. The traditional Douglas fir is sustainably topped from an existing tree each year to allow it to continue growing.