By Mary Drier
AKRON — Good intentions created a lot of confusion in planning a Christmas celebration next month in the village of Akron.
Last year, the village hosted its first parade of lights; and plans are being made to do it again this year, but the original intent of the event became confused with an unauthorized grassroots effort to honor the passing of one resident.
“It started out as a village event, and it is a village event,” said village President Juniata Hollister. “It’s to be a fund-raiser to pay for a playscape for the (village) park.”
During discussion, Trustee Bob Hill noted the information that had been released so far “is presenting the event as a memorial for one individual; but it’s a village event for benefiting the park with a playscape.”
The confusion began when an unauthorized group started taking over a public event to create a private memorial for one deceased resident.
“Doing that takes a village event, and turning it into a private event… a memorial — not a village event,” stated Trustee Sherry Duke.
Trustee Chris Carland agreed.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone who has lost a loved one, but this event isn’t about that or just one person,” said Carland.
While council members were supportive and understood the sentiment of what some wanted to do, they feel their responsibility is to all village residents and efforts need to be redirected to the original intend of a village event for the benefit of the park and children.
The council noted they hoped the misunderstanding and any hard feelings could be set aside so the two groups could work together for the betterment of the community.
The council officially named the 6:30 p.m., Friday Dec. 6 event as the second annual “Akron Parade of Lights” with refreshments and baked items for sale at the Akron Elementary School after the parade.
Volunteers and donations are needed. To help, call (989) 691-5286.
Mary Drier is a staff writer for the Tuscola County Advertiser. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.