The holiday season is in full swing at Key West’s Casa Marina and The Reach resorts, where employees and guests have been donating hundreds of unwrapped toys for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Key West. 

The toy drive ended Dec. 2, and on Thursday, Dec. 3, the Casa Marina will host its first-ever  Sand Sculpture Tree Lighting from 6 to 7:30 p.m.  During that ceremony, hotel staff will present the donated gifts to the Boys and Girls Club. Anyone who brings an unwrapped toy to the tree-lighting will receive a free drink, said hotel manager Evelyn Summer.

Sand sculptor Marianne Van den Broek creates an 11-foot Christmas tree from sand at Key West’s Casa Marina Resort. The tree will be lighted at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3.

The hotel’s unique sand-sculptured Christmas tree was created by the hotel’s resident sand sculptor Marianne Van den Broek, who regularly creates designs made from sand and water at the hotel. 

Van den Broek’s “tree” is 11 feet tall and took three days and 3,000 pounds of sand to create and carve. It is adorned with sand ornaments and real lights that will be illuminated Thursday evening when two young Boys & Girls Club members push the “plunger” to light her up. The actual lighting will be done in partnership with Chip of PSAV. 

The happy hour event includes free cookies and punch for the kids. 

Live entertainment will accompany the event, offering a chance for the kids to sing holiday songs that they’ve been rehearsing. Key West’s own Spectrelles will also perform.

The hotel’s “Tree by the Sea” will remain on display until Dec. 9, offering ample opportunity for hotel guests and locals to take photos with it after the tree-lighting and toy drive ceremony.

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