Alex, Kristin and Anthony Chmielewski, along with their neighbors, Nurzhan and Adelzhan Pallock-Rottier, and their mothers, decided to decorate a memory tree because the children were friends of Gino, who was a Star Wars fan and even referred to his cancer as General Grievous.
The tree features red and Star Wars-themed motifs. The Star Wars toys on the tree were toys that Nurzhan and Adelzhan used to play with, but donated in order to help keep Gino’s memory alive.
“He loved Star Wars,” said Alex. “It was his favorite show and he always loved the action figures and toys. His favorite color was red too, so we added some red items.”
The Chmielewski family donates a tree for the Holiday Tree Festival every year because of the wonderful care their son, Alex, received while he was in the NICU at Akron Children’s Hospital when he was born.
“This year we wanted to donate a tree in memory of Gino,” said Kathy Chmielewski, a decorator. “He was such a positive, beautiful child, and his parents were so sweet and courageous through the whole thing; we just wanted to do something to keep his memory alive and help the kids remember him.”
To see these trees and other holiday creations, visit the Holiday Tree Festival Nov. 23- Dec. 1 at the John S. Knight Center. Admission to the festival is free.