Each year, P.S. 113 students donate decorations for the tree, and attendees enjoy performances from the P.S. 113 Glee Club and Queens Dance Academy and a visit from Santa Claus. Members of Engine 286/Ladder 135, also known as Myrtle's Turtles, decorate the tree.
This year, however, was a little different. Earlier this year, the Glendale community lost one of their own – Firefighter William Tolley, a member of Myrtle’s Turtles.
Tolley delighted each year in decorating the Glendale tree and getting the site just right for the holiday celebration. He tragically lost his life fighting a fire in the community, and this year’s tree lighting was dedicated to his memory.
The tree itself, which is new after replacing the old “Charlie Brown tree,” will be known as the “Tolley Tree.” A memorial stone with a picture of Tolley sits next to it.
“Every year, this tree lighting is incredibly special,” said Crowley. “But this year held extra meaning. Firefighter Tolley dedicated his life to protecting this community, and so it’s only right that we dedicate this to him.”