Tree-decorating creativity on display in Marion

Nov 30, 2019

MARION — The afternoon of Nov. 30 saw the Benjamin D. Cushing Community Center filled with 13 Christmas trees, decorated in a dazzling variety of themes for a Council on Aging Fundraiser. A variety of themed baskets were raffled off that afternoon, and the trees, too, will be raffled off after two weeks. 

Some of the trees, such as a Wizard Of Oz-themed tree, and a punny Silver Shell tree, were fun. Others were more serious, including one that raised awareness for an Alzheimer’s prevention walk.

Though the Friends of the Marion Council on Aging technically hosted the “Festival of Trees” event, Jody Dickerson, the director of the Marion Recreation Department, and Karen Gregory, the director of the Council on Aging did much of the planning. Dickerson got the idea from a similar event he held at a prior post in New Hampshire. 

He said that he and Gregory started talking about the event about a year ago, and started planning it in August. 

The first Festival of Trees was much more of a success than the two hoped. They wanted to have at least six trees, but ended up with more than double that. 

“I find something I love in each tree. They are all so creative,” Gregory said. 

In addition to raising money for the Friends of the Marion Council on Aging, which provides program money to the COA, the event also increased exposure to the Community Center building.

“For many people it’s the first time they’ve been in the building since the town took it over,” Dickerson said, adding that many were impressed by the space now. 

Though the event’s baskets were already raffled off, interested participants can purchase tickets to enter a raffle for their favorite trees at the Community Center during regular hours, and during holiday parties and Marion Police Brotherhood events held in the space on Dec. 7 and 8.