Bringing hope for Christmas at the Castle

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Christmas decorations are going up around KELOLAND.

In Sioux Falls, one tree is hoping to bring some Christmas cheer to kids and parents at the Sanford’s Children’s hospital.

By Tuesday night, this tree will be decorated with lights and ready to bring hope and holiday cheer.

It’s all part of Christmas at the Castle.

“Having this beautiful tree lit up, with the castle in the backdrop, just brings a sense of home, this is home, and this is a normal process, so we want to try to make a hospital stay a wonderful experience,” Sanford Health Director of Pediatrics, Carol Cressman said.

This year’s tree is 45 feet tall. It’s the biggest one they’ve ever had for this event.

“We chose a switchmaster and they will be the one that actually pushes the switch and the big event occurs, all the lights come to life,” Cressman said.

Meg Spartz’s son Jeff and his sister, got that special honor in 2018.

When Jeff was first born he spent ten days at the NICU at Sanford Children’s. A few months later, he was diagnosed with leukemia.

“When we got out of the hospital on November 8th, 2018, he got to be the royal switchmaster at the castle, along with his sister Caroline, helped him since he was tiny,” Jeff’s mom, Meg Spartz said.

He’s now 4 years old and cancer-free.

While they never spent Christmas at the castle, they spent other holidays there, and credit the staff for making their time in the hospital a little bit easier.

“The castle is very important to us, that was home for a long time, we looked through those windows many days, hoping and praying we would get out and having a normal life again,” Spartz said.

Making the holiday season a little brighter.

“I think that the lights depict hope, hope and healing, which is what we provide to them inside those castle walls,” Cressman said.

Tuesday’s event starts at 6:00. There will be photo opportunities as well as cookies and hot chocolate. There will also be a livestream of the event on Facebook. View the story on KELOLAND. Henry Carlson Company cut down and set the tree for the event.