Pic 1

By Jane Bellmyer jbellmyer@cecilwhig.com Nov 3, 2017

NORTH EAST — Whether you are design-challenged, are too busy to do your own decorating or simply want to support a good cause, stop in the West Street Village by Dec. 2 and bid on one of the decorated Christmas trees in the first Festival of Trees to benefit CASA of Cecil County.

“I actually like the one with all the tweed ornaments on it,” said Danielle Palmer, from Abingdon.

Palmer said she has attended the Festival Trees held in Harford County for years and was happy to see it return to Cecil.

The YMCA of Cecil County used to be the benefactor of a Festival of Trees event held at the Armory in Elkton before it ceased about 20 years ago.

Giulia Hodge, executive director of CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates for children in Cecil County’s foster care system, said it was time to resurrect the popular event.

“We have 30 trees,” she said of the response from the community.

Cecil County Circuit Court Judge Will Davis Jr. left his robe at the courthouse to judge the trees and choose winners in four categories: whimsical, traditional, Cecil County/Maryland and overall.

The winner of the whimsical was decorated by Amanda Lenhoff and sponsored by Karen Michaels’ State Farm agency in North East. Looking like Santa Claus in tree form, it’s wrapped in red and sporting a wide black belt and a beard. Clark Design group captured the traditional award with its tree decorated by Paul Elwood and Donna Rice. This tree is covered with red ribbon and gold ornaments from the Danbury Mint. Maggie Creshkoff decorated the winner of the Cecil County/Maryland tree, which was sponsored by the A.I. duPont Hospital anesthesia group. Fans of things Old Bay should enjoy her presentation. Best overall tree honor was awarded to Elkton VCA. While stuffed animals adorn its branches, Erin Calhoun, Linda Elwood and Donna Rice also attached lots of gift certificates for services and merchandise offered by the veterinary practice.

Other trees were decked out with every imaginable combination of glitter, lace, lights and even fur.

“The ones i saw looked really cool,” said Richard Bates, from Elkton.

All 30 trees as well as a growing number of decorative wreaths are on display in the village, space that was donated by Elizabeth Felts, owner of West Street Village on Main Street in North East. The gallery will be open from noon to 5 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. Look for a folder with a photo of the tree on which you want to place your silent auction bid. Hodge said the bidding started based on the amount of decoration on the tree. Starting bids ranged from $20 to nearly $200.

“I hope it continues to grow,” Palmer said.

According to organizers of the previous YMCA events, the last Festival of Trees raised $30,000. Bids will be accepted up to 4 p.m. Dec. 2.


We'd love to hear your thoughts.