Festival of Trees to benefit United Way

  • Rian Farrell, 4, front, and Sofia Ruggeri, 6, put in their raffle tickets for a tree during the 2017 Festival of Trees, sponsored by the Franklin County Rotary and Greenfield Kiwanis, at Yankee Candle Co. last year. FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 11/29/2018 12:01:58 AM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — It’s that time of year — Yankee Candle’s annex becomes an enchanted forest.

The third annual Festival of Trees is scheduled to begin Friday, offering people an opportunity to meander a weaving path of artificial Christmas trees and Christmas tree-themed decorations sponsored by area businesses, organizations and families. The objects are adorned with raffle prizes visitors can win.

“It’s fun for everybody,” said Rotarian and event coordinator April Healey. “There’s something for everybody in the family.”

Each year the event, hosted by Franklin County Rotary Club and the Kiwanis Club of Greenfield, raises money for a local beneficiary — this year it will be the United Way of Franklin County. Last year, the event raised about $20,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Regional Dog Shelter.

Healey said the United Way was an easy pick, because the money will go “far and wide in our community.” She said, “With the United Way, they have a fantastic program there and they partner with agencies in every corner of Franklin County.”

Rotarian Jodi Howe, campaign coordinator at United Way, said all money generated through the Festival of Trees will go into a general fund and then, depending on need, be allocated to any of the 54 agencies United Way works with.

“We don’t know what kind of traffic we’re going to get,” she said. “But if Yankee Candle is very busy, we have more people coming through.”

Healey said there were 67 sponsored trees last year, and at least 70 are expected this time around. Raffle tickets are $1 each, 25 for $20 or 50 for $40. Admission is free. The festival will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays between Nov. 30 and Dec. 15. Raffle winners will be drawn at 4 p.m. on Dec. 15, Healey said. Tree winners should be prepared to pick up their tree, the trimmings and everything under the tree on Dec. 17 and 18. Set-up for the festival will take place this week.

Today is the deadline to sponsor a tree. Anyone interested should send an email to: fcfestivaloftrees@gmail.com.

Reach Domenic Poli at:
dpoli@recorder.com or
413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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