Culture of Life Service Program Winner

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 05/30/2018 Under: Culture of Life (411 Hits)    

Trees for Life Holy Rosary Council 13579 Muskegon Hts.

Kacey Kersman, Director of Religious Education at Our Lady of Grace & St Mary Parishes in Muskegon is the daughter in law of Robert “Buzz” Kersman whose family owns a Christmas Tree Farm. Kacey was thinking of a way to earn enough money to send her Religious Education Students & Chaperones to Washington DC in January for the annual March for Life. She recollected that her father in law had donated 100 Christmas Trees to his Methodist Church in North Muskegon to sell the previous year.

Trees for Life program

When Buzz Kersman agreed to donate 100 Christmas Trees to Our Lady of Grace & St Mary’s Church Kacey immediately went to Pastor Fr. Matthew Barnum to see what he thought of the idea. Fr. Matt being a member of Holy Rosary Council knew that the Council would have the manpower as well as the desire to support the youth.  Fr. Matt then spoke to Garret Kelenske, District Deputy, Council member, & parishioner who then took it before the Council at which time the project received overwhelming support.

On November 18, 2017 Chairman Mike Lewis, Grand Knight Dan Wagenmaker, & District Deputy Garret Kelenske from Holy Rosary Council met with the Kersman’s and about a dozen young men from the Kersman’s son’s school and began cutting down 200 Christmas Trees which were to be sold at both churches. Within a couple of hours the first hundred were cut and loaded to be delivered to St. Mary’s Church in Muskegon. These weren’t just any old Christmas Trees, these were beautiful Frazier Firs which sold for $35 each, a real bargain. This was just the beginning as many of the Council members began to build racks & string lights around the trees for better visibility at night, while creating a workshop & office in Fr. Matt’s garage just in time to sell on Thanksgiving weekend.

This turned into a community project with all trees being sold raising $5,444.00. This allowed the Parish to send 13 youths with chaperones to the March for Life in January spending $325 per student. As you can see in all the photos everyone had a wonderful time & religious experience. Kacey Kersman remarked at the conclusion of the March for Life trip that made all our efforts worthwhile, “This year, they got to sleep in a bed.”