Festival aids pediatric programs

December 03, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

HAGERSTOWN -- One tree was decked out in red, white and blue -- and Obama.

A Christmas ornament bearing the face of President-elect Barack Obama was placed in the center of one of 29 Christmas trees on display at Robinwood Medical Center through next Monday as part of the annual Festival of Trees fundraiser.

The Deck the Hall through the White House tree is in honor of Barack Obama's "electrifying" campaign, according to promotional material. The tree is decorated with various items, like the word "Peace" stretched across some top limbs.

The 2008 Festival of Trees was expected to attract about 300 people during its opening night Wednesday.

Proceeds from this year's event, which will feature live and silent auctions of trees and wreaths, will support pediatric programs at Washington County Hospital.


Last year's Festival of Trees raised more than $12,000 for the SAFE Program, which involves nurses who help investigate sexual assault cases.

This year's 29 trees and 19 wreaths are sponsored by various businesses and individuals.

A tree and wreath that were judged as best of show were to be put up for a live auction Wednesday night, and the remaining trees and wreaths will be put up for a silent auction that ends Monday, said Nicki Brinegar, manager of special events for Antietam Healthcare Foundation.

Other attractions include a model train exhibit. One of the railroad scenes features a replica of the new Washington County Hospital under construction.

The event got under way Wednesday night with a semi-formal reception for sponsors, event volunteers and special guests. People crowded into Robinwood Medical Center's atrium as they snacked on hors d'oeuvres and sipped drinks during the reception.

"It's a beautiful event," Hagerstown resident Ruth Dwyer said as she walked past the trees.

Dwyer said she always goes to the event and has bid on items before.

"I still get bid-out, but that's OK," Dwyer said.

Dana Wollaston of Greencastle, Pa., said she enjoys the event, too.

"I love to see all the creativity and color," Wollaston said.

If you go

The Festival of Trees can be viewed Thursday, Dec. 4 and Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibit is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission costs $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 3 to 12.

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