AngelaHuston@zoominternet.net   CRHuston@zoominternet.net

The atmosphere at Danbury Senior Living of Brunswick, 3430 Brunswick Lake Parkway, was incredibly festive, appropriately so, as the exciting finale of the second Festival of Trees got underway December 5.

Hundreds of visitors were oohing, aahing, and bidding on the beautiful wreaths and creatively decorated trees, all donated, all valued at hundreds of dollars. The holiday items were offered to raise funds for two local organizations: the Optimist Club of Brunswick and Medina County Senior Services Network.

The Optimist Club's motto is "Bringing out the Best in KIds." Their fundraisers benefit Brunswick families and students. Medina County Senior Services Network "develops, coordinates, educates and acts as advocates for our community older adults."

Tree donors were: All Caring Hospice; Clutter Solutions, Danbury Senior Living; Deb and Doug Lougheed; Danbury Dietary Department; GTB Medical Service; Harbor Light Hospice; Heather Dillon, Home Depot; Italian Village; Jessica Jenkins and Tom Pea; Pearlview Rehab and Wellness Center; Residents of Danbury Senior Living; Renee and Kevin Ackim; Sanctuary of Medina; Sheetz; Southwest General Hospital; The Clauses; The Optimist Club of Brunswick; The Sohar and Krzywicki Families; and Willowood Care Center.

In addition to the 21 beautifully and uniquely decorated themed trees (one on which snow gently fell), 50 generous community donors contributed countless appealing wreaths and enticing raffle items. Bidders who won the trees were shown the courtesy of free delivery within a 10-mile radius the following morning.

The Solomon Quartet entertained throughout the evening, and Santa Claus, aka Mark Weber, paid a visit and stayed for photos. While enjoying the Christmas music and bidding on the holiday items, attendees also enjoyed appetizers and beverages.

Tickets to the culminating event were $25 (Danbury residents $20), and entitled guests to enjoy a sumptuous holiday buffet featuring beef tenderloin and delicious accompaniments prepared by Chef Bryant Watson and his staff; the meal was capped off with an array of decadently delicious cakes.

Ticket holders were automatically entered into the Festival of Trees reverse raffle; the lucky winner had a chance to win $2,500. Guests also purchased raffle tickets in hopes of winning one of the wreaths, baskets, or other Chinese auction items that included many gift cards.

Danbury Executive Director Deb Lougheed, who initiated this popular event last year, welcomed everyone, acknowledged Optimist Club President Lori Henry and Medina Senior Services Network President Deb Poland, and then gave heartfelt thanks and credit to the Festival's planning committee: Liz Baloun, Tom Williams, Cindy Peters, Mark Weber, Garry Paul, Heather Dillon, Jessica Jenkins, Kate Cianchetti, Kelcey McCormack, Jen Heppner, and Bryant Watson.

Lougheed said the goal this year was to raise at least $10,000, the amount last year's event raised. She happily reported the event this year exceeded that amount, it brought in $14,000.

Event sponsors were: Sohar's All Season Mowing Services; Home Depot; Marden Therapies Company; Brunswick Family Dental; Dean Holman; Greater Northern Medina Chamber; ONHorizons Inc.; Winfield and Associates; Nothing Bundt Cake; Key Bank; The Optimist Club of Brunswick; OT/Romeos of Medina; Hospice of Western Reserve Medina; and Johnny J's.