They're up in the trees

Deb Moldaschel
Brayden Suess helped string lights on tree branches in Sportsmen's Park Saturday morning. Cory Heiderscheidt expertly operated the tractor and bucket to maneuver Brayden around the trees.

The last few years the Holiday Lights in Motion crew has asked students to help start the set up process in Sportsmen’s Park during the MEA break. This year a group of 10 or more FFA members volunteered and helped get a lot of work done.

HLM Chairman Mike Suess said the kids, along with some adult volunteers, got all the tree trunks wrapped with lights — that’s about 90 trees — on Thursday and Friday. Suess and his wife Kristi and Andy and Barb Pelzel set up camp in the park Friday night, with their families, and got to work stringing lights in the lower branches on Saturday morning. Andy and Heather Hoffmann and kids joined them for the day.

“We got a lot done with all the good help,” said Suess. “We are in pretty good shape going forward.”

Suess said he spent some time earlier in the week putting in more electric boxes and outlets around the park. Now they won’t need to string so many extension cords on the ground. “On Sunday Andy [Hoffmann] came back and helped me finish that project,” he said.

Volunteers are welcome every Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., through Nov. 22. Suess said the group has a sign-up option (see Sleepy Eye Holiday Lights in Motion website or Facebook page) that helps them plan their work. “If volunteers sign up there, it will help us keep in contact,” he said. “If the weather is bad or something has changed in our work plans, we can let the people who signed up know.”

Volunteers can also just show up and any amount of volunteer time is appreciated.