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Coopersville Christmas Parade also promotes breast cancer awareness | Community Spirit

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Coopersville Christmas Parade also promotes breast cancer awareness
Coopersville Christmas Parade also promotes breast cancer awareness

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. - It's one of the longest-running nighttime Christmas parades in Michigan, and the 30th annual parade in Coopersville Friday night was even more special for many because it was dedicated to breast cancer awareness.

Before the start of the parade, a pink Christmas tree was lit by a father who lost his daughter to breast cancer.

Everyone coming to Coopersville is encouraged to put a pink decoration on what's called "Lori's Tree."

"Holidays are hard for anyone who's lost a loved one," says David Lantz, who created the tree in memory of his daughter, Lori. "We have to continue to fight this ugly disease, but I see it as a way to park your sorrows for a while. I'd just love to see it spread."

The pink theme continued in the parade. In addition to the traditional floats, there was a section featuring everything from a pink ribbon float to breast cancer survivors and co-survivors walking, to horses painted pink and a big pink Hummer limousine.

"We're really excited to bring some awareness to the smaller communities, hoping it will reach out to other communities," says Pat Raap, Coopersville's "Pink Organizer."

The parade ended with a tradition: the appearance of Santa Claus on a sleigh drawn by reindeer.