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Community Counts Down as Christmas Tree Lights Up Town

There were 24 high schoolers volunteering from REACH, an independent service club made up of Montville Township High School students.

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As Twp. Committee member Scott Gallopo started the countdown, the dozens of kids and the rest of the crowd joined in. 

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And the trees and bushes and several lawn decorations lit up Monday night for the Montville Township annual tree lighting. Check out the photo gallery in this Patch article. 

There was a sing-a-long with members of the Girl Scouts and “Elvis the Elf" before two Pine Brook Fire Department trucks safely delivered Santa and Frosty the Snowman. 

Herb Eggers, Pine Brook Fire Chief said the Pine Brook Fire Department has been delivering Santa for at least 15 years. "It's nice for the kids to get together," said Eggers. "It's a nice way for families to enjoy the holiday season. The kids enjoy it and the members of the fire department enjoy doing it for the community."

Montville Resident Steve Walker came out with his family for the event. 

"They're excited about seeing Santa and Frosty," he said of his two young boys. "This is our second year. It's nice that they do all this (for the community)."They added that their older son will be fine when it's his turn to meet Santa and Frosty, but this is the first for the younger one, so they're not sure how he'll take it. 

Gallopo thanked the DPW for decorating, the girl scouts and "Elvis the Elf" for the musical entertainment, the Pine Brook Fire Department, REACH students and Police Explorers.

There were 24 high schoolers there were with REACH, an independent service club made up of Montville Township High School students. They were volunteering that night, giving out tickets to see santa, setting up before, cleaning up after, handing out song lyrics, dancing with Elvis the Elf, and so on. 

Senior Joseph Salamone said they participated Monday night because "it's needed because society doesn't give back as much as it should."

"We like giving back to the little kids like how older kids gave back to us when we were little," said Salamone. 

The community streamed into township hall for light refreshments provided by the Women’s Club while they waited to get a picture with Santa and Frosty. 

"The Montville Women's Club is a service organization. We love to help out the community in any way that's possible," said Linda Peskin, who has been with the club since 2005. "Seeing the small children is the best part." The Women's Club recently celebrated their 50th anniversary. 

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