Annual Festival Of Trees 10 a.m. To 2 p.m. Today

Photo by Chad Lauritzen
 
Photo by Chad Lauritzen
 
By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
Los Alamos

They call it the twelve days of Christmas and this weekend the Betty Ehart Senior Center will host the 12th annual Festival of Trees.

The four hour festival, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, will be a hub of activity as they hold a multitude of yuletide activities under one roof. The event includes more than 60 silent auction items ranging from trees, wreaths and quilts to ornaments and decorations, some which begin at just $1.

“In the late summer, we also took delivery of a Studio 21 Christmas Village that will be part of our silent auction,” said co-coordinator of Joy, Pauline Powell Schneider. “We hope our visitors will check it out and bid on their favorite scenes.”

The Festival of Trees includes live piano music performed by Frances Meier and Tom, classical guitarist Greg Schneider and other musicians who brighten the holiday spirit with music.

Photo by Chad Lauritzen

“Once again, Santa has our Festival of Trees on his calendar and he is looking forward to greeting the young and the young at heart,” Schneider. said “He is hoping to have you join him for pictures – people and pets – he loves ’em all.”

According to Schneider, you may bring your camera in addition to the fact they provide a free photographer and free digital pictures.

Senior Center staff donate hours of their time to making this event a true holiday treasure. The Los Alamos Volunteer Association (LAVA) also rolls out the red carpet to pave the way for community members to enjoy the season. Additional volunteers will be on hand from Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA).  

The Festival of Trees includes a small craft fair with items ranging from baked goods to jewelry and other hand-made items, including the LARSO Quilters Group that may have just what you are looking for when it comes to holiday gifts.

There is no financial fee for entry, but the program hopes that visitors will donate lunch and snack items for needy students and pre-packaged cookies or granola bars and canned goods to benefit a variety of community projects.

Poinsettias will be on sale once again just in time to decorate the Thanksgiving table and carry you through the majority of holidays that follow.

“We are so grateful to those who donate trees, wreaths, villages and other decor for the silent auction,” Schneider said. “Every year there are so many creative ideas – you just can’t imagine!”

Many volunteers have been faithful to the festival for years including; Kay Burick, Louise Hassman, Claire Swinhoe, several chapters of Beta Sigma Phi, Home Instead, A Nurse in the Family, the Los Alamos Retirement Community, Jackie Beebe, Chery Pongratz, Linda Hoffman and so many more.

A newcomer this year is Janet Trask, owner of Four Generations, including mother, daughter and two granddaughters with the memory of a beloved grandmother to keep them going. They have donated a Southwestern style tree with hand-made luminarias and chilies, a handmade cornhusk angel on top, and pinon cones from White Rock.

“I have enjoyed the Festival of Trees every year since I moved here, and always thought the trees I make would fit in well,” Trask said. “I love for things I make to go to a worthy cause.”

The funds will benefit senior and youth programs including needs at the senior centers two locations, science in the classroom with the Sci Guy Chad Lauritzen, WEB Crew, a youth leadership program at Los Alamos Middle School and the Community Assets Awards.

Photo by Chad Lauritzen

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