Life After 50: Annual Festival Of Trees Going Virtual

The 17th Annual Festival of Trees is going virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy/LARSO

By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
Executive Director
Los Alamos Retired & Senior Organization

Tuesday marked seven months that we’ve been mired in pandemic ponderings and if nothing else, we’re always up for something new.

 I will start as I do believe I did last time with an apology. No, not necessarily a planned pattern but I am about to use the “F” word in the middle of October. That “F” word my friends, is the Festival of Trees.

The thought of speaking those words before the start of November, makes my skin crawl, but my new pandemic position requires that I plan with purpose. 2020 marks the 17th year of the festival and one fan of the festivities declared we should cancel the event.

You may not know that I wear two hats but both hats agree as Freddy Mercury would say, “The show must go on”.

As we enter this new phase of pandemic pandemonium, my goal at the end of this fiscal year is to be able to feed and care for our seniors. Life has never been all about money for me, but this year it has a different meaning. It has allowed us to buy a gas card so someone could pick up their social security check, bought a prescription for someone in a pinch and bought some new socks.

Our senior centers provide many services, but feeding people from now until June of 2021 is at the forefront of our work. So, the festivals must go forward and since we can’t gather with more than 5, then a virtual event or two will unfold starting in November. We’ll have more on that later.

We will take donations of holiday items for the project, which will be auctioned via silent auction. Our plan is to use Facebook, our website and potentially a Zoom event, to showcase a variety of items. Annually, for $1 chances we raffle off a fully decorated tree.

We continue with two themes and this year we will continue it with a twist:

  • The first theme is “Together” as in we’re all in this together, so what has that message meant for you?
  • The second theme is a COVID or Corona art contest. We’d like community members, talented mediocre and novice, to craft their best depiction of this time.

This isn’t to make light of the situation, it is simply to emphasize that humor, has helped to get us through these tough times.

Submissions should be left with a name, age and phone number for our mini contest portion. They can be left at either senior center location, please just make sure someone is inside.

Lastly, our goal is to help some seniors make the extra spending money that this holiday time generates. Craft fairs are very important to many crafters. Usually, they rent a table, donate one item and sell their wares during a big event. This year, no table fee, just the goal of helping each other. If you’re interested, let us know at 505.662.8920 and stay tuned, I promise not to be back until November.

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