Evelyn Summer, resort manager for Casa Marina and The Reach, oversees Boys & Girls Club member Cian Guest as he gets ready to light up the 12-foot sand sculpture Christmas tree on the beach at Casa Marina Resort.

The Christmas tree was made of sand, but still sparkled like the season on Dec. 2, when the Casa Marina Resort hosted its annual tree lighting and toy drive on the grounds of the century-old hotel.

For the month leading up to the tree lighting, the Casa Marina and The Reach resorts collected hundreds of new, unwrapped toys donated by generous Key West locals, visiting guests and resort employees for the Boys & Girls Club of the Keys. The gifts were presented to Judy Leggett, CEO/executive director of the club, who will ensure that underprivileged kids in Key West have something exciting to open on Christmas morning. 

Club member Cian Guest pushed the plunger to light the towering 12-foot tree made of sand.

Young club members performed holiday carols and recited holiday poems they had written. 

The grounds of the Casa Marina Resort are stunningly decorated and worth a stop during your holiday light tours this season.  

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Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.