A community gathered in Islip Terrace Monday night for a Christmas tree lighting that was extra special for 2016.

That was because the night also marked the accomplishment of the East Islip Community Chamber volunteers who had been at work the past couple of years to erect a new tree in the hamlet.

The long-dead tree at in the memorial park at Connetquot and Lowell avenues had come to be called the Charlie Brown Tree by passersby. It was replaced this fall using money the chamber raised from the community.

In good fun, Monday night’s festivities kicked off with songs from A Charlie Brown Christmas, said the chamber’s vice president, Gary Teich of Lee’s Auto Body & Glass in East Islip.

Teich called the night “the epitome of community.”
“Local businesses like Richie’s Towing, On a Roll Contracting, The Emporium Supermarket, Hong Kong Kitchen, the local 99 cent store, the deli, and Mary’s Pizza devoted their time and services to everyone so they could spend some time for some pure enjoyment,” he said.

The SCPD, Exchange Ambulance of The Islips and the Islip Terrace Fire Department were also on hand, along with local elected leaders.

“The directors of the East Islip Community Chamber thank everyone for making our tree lighting ceremony a great event,” Teich said.

“We are proud to be  part of a great community.”

Photo: Monday evening’s tree lighting in Islip Terrace. (Matthew Teich)