Poel, a longtime board member with The Salvation Army in Grand Haven, would call Dale Kwekel of Grand Haven Garden House to request a tree.
“I could always count on a call from Clarence,” Kwekel remembers. “Well over 20 years, Tad would make his annual phone call here and we were honored to provide the tree.”
This year’s “Tree of Lights” — donated again by the Grand Haven Garden House — will be in remembrance of Poel, who died on Nov. 20 at age 91.
“Clarence Poel will be missed, but his memory in his act of service for the community will be remembered,” said Capt. Jay Davis of The Salvation Army in Grand Haven.
The service will take place at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7. Davis will dedicate the tree with a special prayer in memory of Poel.
The Salvation Army had played a major role in Poel’s life, too — according to his son, Randy Poel.
“My dad was adopted and was born at The Salvation Army (facility) in Grand Rapids,” Randy said.
The special tree for the “Tree of Lights” has already been placed at the Brass River plaza, located off Harbor Drive between the Chamber of Commerce office and the Tri-Cities Historical Museum’s Depot building.
To make a donation or to volunteer, contact The Salvation Army at 310 N. DeSpelder, P.O. Box 181, Grand Haven, MI 49417. You may also call 842-3380.
Anyone interested in bell-ringing for The Salvation Army can call 616-402-8564 or e-mail jay_Davis@usc.salvationarmy.org.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.