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Crocker Park Kicks Off Holiday Season With Tree-Lighting

Event features Santa, fireworks and a boy's wish being granted

The holiday spirit came to Crocker Park Saturday night as the ninth annual Holiday Tree Lghting Extravaganza was held.

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Before Santa came to light the tree, lots of good things happened. Hosts from the local Radio Disney station led families in fun contests and games. One contest, air guitar, brought dads onto the stage to strut their stuff.

Mike Mencke of Cleveland won, and got a gift card for NJ Thomas Fine Jewelry.

"I'll be using that for my wife (Margaret)," he said.

Gabe Cipriani of Mayfield had a good night. On Nov. 18, 2011, he was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma. On the eve of that anniversary, he is in remission following treatment and was granted his wish from Make-A-Wish and Menchie's. Gabe, his parents Kim and Ryan, and his brother Nick, are leaving Dec. 29 for a vacation at Walt Disney World.

"It's so exciting," Kim Cipriani said. "Make-A-Wish has been so wonderful."

Gabe already knows where he's heading first when he gets to Disney World. He wants to ride the Expedition Everest roller coaster train ride.

"Can't wait," he said. "It's gonna be fun."

It was also a special night for Westlake residents Dave Pfister and Lysa Stanton. The couple, who are leaders in the Westlake Historical Society, were named the new Mr. and Mrs. Westlake by the Westlake Town Criers.

"They are what Mr. and Mrs. Westlake is all about," said mayor Dennis Clough. "They give back to make Westlake a better place. They did a lot in our (2011) bicentennial celebration, and brought forth a lot of history that most Westlake residents wouldn't know about."

Pfister and Stanton did not stay after the announcement, as they had to go to the Clague House Museum to oversee a private event there.

Soon after, the Ryan Humbert band took the stage for Christmas carols until Santa arrived to light the tree. A spectacular fireworks show followed.

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