SOUTHINGTON - The United Wayâ€™s Festival of Trees returns to the Aqua Turf Club for the sixth year today, offering residents the opportunity to purchase their own Christmas tree and support local charities.
The Festival of Trees will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the club at 556 Mulberry St., Plantsville.
Visitors will have the opportunity to bid on decorated trees, wine and gift baskets, wreaths and holiday dĂ©cor and other silent auction items. They can also enjoy a pasta dinner, hors dâ€™oeuvres and desserts. All proceeds will support the United Way of Southington in its mission to aid local charities.
â€śWe have many wonderful businesses donating so much,â€ť said Nicky Roy, festival co-chairwoman. â€śHawkâ€™s LandingÂ gave a full day of golf for four, HQ LandscapingÂ gave a $300Â gift certificate, Evergreen Nursery gave a huge Santa and sleigh outdoor sculpture and Patrick Baker & Sons gave a large gorgeous holiday nativity set worth $190. We really are so lucky to be in a community such as Southington that truly cares for one another. It just shows the generosity and huge hearts of those here in the small but mighty town of Southington.â€ť
Roy said this event is United Way of Southingtonâ€™s second largest fundraiser, after its annual dinner, and that last year it attracted 200 people and raised $10,000.
In addition to the United Wayâ€™s tree, trees were donated by COCC, Rotary Club of Southington, The Aqua Turf Club, Southington Youth Services, the Margaret Griffin Child Development Center, Southington Community Services, Southington Community Cultural Arts, Southington High School, Homewood Suites, Valentine the Clown and Southington Dental Associates.
â€śWe will be delivering these trees to peopleâ€™s homes until 2 a.m. that night,â€ť said Roy.
Roy encouraged people to come out for fun, good food and a good cause.
â€śItâ€™s a great night to experience with friends and family â€“ the hall will be covered in decorations and weâ€™ll be playing holiday music,â€ť she said. â€śThe money raised from this event will help so many people - adolescents, kids and seniors alike. Our research has shown that one in four people living in Southington will need some sort of help at some point. I was one of them. I was a foster kid and United Way helped me to go to college. I now own several businesses in town and Iâ€™ve seen people who used to be my wealthy clients coming to me when I volunteer at the food pantry. Whether it was medical concerns or loss of a job or divorce, you never know what life will throw at you sometimes.â€ť
Joyce Jenkins, who co-chairs the event with Roy, noted their neither of them lives in town but they both volunteer to help out local nonprofits. Roy added that, aside from the organizationâ€™s executive director, Jack Eisenman, the rest of the people working for United Way are all volunteers.
â€śEveryone needs help sometimes,â€ť said Jenkins. â€śWeâ€™re very excited about this event and we hope it will be a great success.â€ť
Tickets for the Festival of Trees are $20 or $10 for seniors 55 and older.
To buy tickets, call Ruth Warner at 860-620-4230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A limited number of tickets will also be available at the door during the night of the event.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.