Festival of Trees benefit continues today

November 25, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

FREDERICK - In search of a fund-raiser, Daybreak Adult Day Services Inc. decided to branch out. The result was the Festival of Trees, a merry tradition now in its third year.

Twenty-six Christmas trees are dressed to thrill at the Frederick Fairgrounds on East Patrick Street this weekend. Wreaths, ornaments, needlework and wall trees also are featured.

Nancy Eigenbrode, the festival chairwoman, said the event is growing. An estimated 500 people visited the show Saturday.

Attendance was boosted by a morning teddy bear breakfast that drew 300 people.

A pre-festival gala was held Friday night.

Daybreak Adult Day Services is a nonprofit agency that helps people with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, Parkinson's disease, head injuries, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and other illnesses live comfortably and independently at home.


Three years ago, the agency decided it needed a fund-raiser

Eigenbrode, who is on the board of directors, said she mentioned an article about tree festivals she saw in Southern Living magazine. Another board member described a tree festival in Easton, Md.

Eigenbrode recalled the board saying, "Let's do it."

Last year, there were 18 trees; this year, there are 26.

Individuals and businesses design the trees, which are then sold. The price is $100 a foot for full-sized trees and $85 a foot for narrow trees.

Last year, every tree was sold before the festival opened. Daybreak decided this year to hold a few trees back so people at the festival would get a shot at buying one.

Other greenery also moves quickly.

Lorraine Disque of Frederick stopped in to pick up one of the last wall trees, which are flat on one side so they can be hung. They started at $50, but were marked down to $35 by mid-afternoon.

Disque said she wanted to support her friends working at the festival.

By Saturday afternoon, two tables of theme-filled baskets were down to one. A "Tea For Two" basket included honey, jam and a teapot. Another basket was stuffed with pecans and cheddar cheese chips and decorated with green and white bows.

Members of the Frederick Woman's Civic Club designed and donated 24-inch trees. The price on those was also trimmed Saturday, from $60 to $50.

Children had a chance to "Make and Take" miniature gingerbread houses. The fee was $3.

Another table featured prize-winning, full-sized gingerbread houses. Some of the categories were "Best Sweet Shop," "Most Electrifying" and "Best Gumdrop Cottage." All were for sale.

Nancy Deater, a volunteer, stood watch over a table of small crafts assembled by 4-H members and senior citizens. The prices ranged from 10 cents to $3.50.

Eigenbrode said the bargain merchandise table gave children a chance to buy gifts on their own.

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