ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – Around 100 Christmas trees line the Westland Hills baseball field in Albany. Each tree is a memorial to the deceased who cannot return to their families this Christmas season.
âOur first tree is for my mother, who we lost in May when we were 92 years old. Unfortunately, our family experienced more tragedy, my brother Joe, my oldest brother, died two days before my mother, “says Paul Zullo of Albany,” so we have a tree in their honor. And the other tree is for my son Tanner, who I lost to leukemia in 2004. ”
For some families, the holidays with an empty seat at the table can be a difficult time, especially if this is the first Christmas without them. âIt will be the year of the premieres. And I’m used to it, especially with my son. It’s been 17 years. But I think it’s a nice way to continue the tradition, âsays Zullo.
The trees are lit every night through Christmas. Event organizer Dan Farrell says Westland Hills wanted to do something to show people that their loved ones are with them during the holidays, even when they are not in physical shape.
âThe holidays can certainly be tough. I lost my mother four years ago and an event where we can visit the tree and my family helps us to be a little closer to her, “says Farrell,” we can put her favorite decorations on it. Many of the people who plant trees here today are all celebrating a different person. Everyone has a different story. ”
Farrell says they raised over $ 5,000 for every 100 trees sponsored in memory of loved ones. He says there are some trees left in case someone wants to sponsor one. The trees are priced at $ 75 and can be sponsored on their website.