Every year, Sand Creek Country Club Lights up of the club's sky-high Christmas Tree, illuminating the holiday season for all.
On Thursday evening ,Sand Creek Country Club held their annual Christmas tree lighting and gathering for the members and their friends. The night included food, drinks, Christmas caroling and carriage rides.
General Manager Kyle Lundy weaved in and out of the tables, full of familiar and new faces, as he was introduced to the friends of club members. There were more than 200 guests at the event, he estimated, a typical number for the club’s first holiday gathering of the season.
“We have been doing this for quite some time,” he said, guessing the night’s event was around the 38th annual time. “The club was founded in 1976, so this was the 40th year.”
According to Lundy, Sand Creek caters their events to include member’s families, as well as to the needs of those involved with the club.
“This club means a lot of different things to different groups. Segments within the club enjoy the club for different reasons and everyone is here for a different reason,” Lundy explained. “We try to cater to one of those segments the best we can.”
The tree was lit up by the 2016 club captain, Brad Werner, who came to the event with his family and 17 of his guests, all wearing their version of an ugly Christmas sweater.
"We do this every year,” his wife, Carmen Werner said. “At the end of the night, the group chooses who wins the ugliest sweater award.”
The Werners, who have been club members for 20 years, attend the event every year, but it was Brad’s first time with the most important duty of the night.
"I'm so excited," he said, eyeing the button sitting next to the tree. Around 7:30 p.m. he pushed the button, lighting up the tree and the gathering crowd began the annual singing of “Oh’ Christmas Tree.”
Among the carolers, was Bob Scheller, who works with the local hospitals. Every year, he invites the local healthcare community to the Sand Creek events. This year earned him and his 70 to 90 guests their own room.
Similar to the sweater-wearing, Scheller was in a Christmas tie, given to him by a friend, Roxann Nowak. "She buys me a different Christmas tie every year,” Scheller said. "They’re all very Christmas-y!" she added in, laughing. Nowak’s husband Dr. Greg Nowak works with Scheller and attends the holiday events every year.
“I like to invite the nurses and their families, the people in the community,” Scheller explained. He said he enjoys talking with his friends outside of the workplace and seeing faces he may see only at this time of the year.
“Throughout the month of December, Sand Creek is packed with people throwing lunches and business meetings, in addition to more events like the tree lighting one,” Lundy said.
The next event will be the Dec. 10 Brunch with Santa event, where Scheller will bring 150 guests, a small contribution to the 400 to 500 guests who usually attend. After that, the next popular event will be the separate adult-only and child-only New Year’s Eve parties.
As children ran around the tree and talked to the horses out front, the parents enjoyed a night with their community members. For most guests, this was the beginning of their Christmas season, as each light lit up their inner holiday spirit.