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Festival of Trees: A doll of an event

November 19, 2012

Phil Valentine, at right, and others examine a Christmas tree during the final day of the Festival of Trees at The Gardens at Wapakoneta. The five-day festival ended Sunday. One of the most popular trees was the Barbie tree submitted by the Elaine and John Poppe family and by Poppe Law Offices. The collection had approximately 40 Barbie dolls and a car.

The 14th annual Festival of Trees closed Sunday and was deemed a success by both organizers and attendees alike at The Gardens at Wapakoneta.

The event, which began Wednesday, was held 1 to 8 p.m. through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

“It gets people in the Christmas mood,” Community Health Professionals of Tri-County Marketing Coordinator Nike Duvall said. “It is an event that a lot of people look forward to and come to every year.”

Businesses, organizations and private individuals all donated Christmas trees, wreaths, and other themed items to the event. All of the items are up for silent auction and the money benefits Community Health Professionals, which is a non-profit organization and United Way of Auglaize County partner. The funds help cover medical supplies, care and equipment of the local hospice patients that are not covered by Medicare or other insurance.

“We had more than 300 sign up for bid numbers and many more who came through just to see the displays,” Duvall

said. “I heard a lot of compliments on how nice the items were and it definitely was another successful year.”

Of the 92 displays, a themed tree titled “Barbies and Butterflies” attracted the highest bid at $550. Duvall said the organization does not release financial information, but said it was one of the most successful auctions ever.

The event has been held at The Gardens since it opened 13 years ago, and the facility has housed all but the event’s first year.

Santa Claus made a guest appearance from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday and crafts were available for the children. Raffle tickets were available for a wide array of prizes.

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