SUGARLOAF TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Today people gathered around a 60-foot Christmas Tree in Luzerne County for a holiday celebratory event.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus made an appearance and brought the reindeer along to SJM Auto Sales and Repair which hosted the event in Sugarloaf Township.

In the spirit of giving, the tree lighting ceremony doubled as a Toy for Tots fundraiser, accepting toys and donations in memory of Mark Merola who passed in November at 57.

“He just had a very generous and beautiful heart and I just know this would be something he would just absolutely love,” said Elena Timko, sister of Mark Merola.

“Children that are here with their parents and seeing and hearing stuff. It’s pretty neat, a lot of smiles, they wanted to Santa Claus,” explained Don Walters.

The event was able to raise more than $3,500.