The creator of the Tree of Hope in Grande Prairie is glad he decided to decorate it this year. Wesley L’Hirondelle didn’t decorate the large tree in his front yard in 2018 and didn’t plan on doing it this year either but after hearing from the public, he decided it was needed.
“Altogether there were about 100 people that came up and asked me if I was going to do the tree and said they really need something this year because of everything going on and I said you know what, I think I’m gonna do that tree.”
L’Hirondelle first started the tradition four years ago after his father and a neighbour’s husband went into the QEII. He says he decided to cover it in lights and make his display as big as possible so that they could both see home from the hospital.
Following the death of some family members including his mother, L’Hirondelle started making ornaments to hang with their names on them. He says other people have embraced that tradition too.
“There was two couples yesterday and they both hung ornaments. One was for their son who was killed in a car accident a couple of years ago and another one was their baby daughter that passed away over 20 years ago. It doesn’t matter if they just passed away or not it’s just a way to memorialize them.”
For anyone looking to help out with the tree, L’Hirondelle will be taking donations to help pay for the power bill for the lights which he says costs over $2,500. The Tree of Hope will be decorated in L’Hirondelle front yard on 100 Street until January 7th.