By Misty DUPLESSIS
For decades the Assistance League (AL) of Glendale has been dedicated to providing services to meet the needs of local neighborhoods through its philanthropic Thrift Alley, by garnering personal, business and corporate donations and hosting the much anticipated yearly Festival of Trees.
This past Sunday, Dec. 5, the Hilton in Glendale was the site of this year’s Festival. The ballroom was filled with excited AL members and their guests, all hoping for a chance at winning one of the donated festive ornate trees that were accompanied by extraordinary gifts.
The event launched with a silent auction in which an array of items such as baskets of goodies for the sports fanatic, wine enthusiast, pet owner, home cook, beach goer, theater buff and many more were on display waiting for someone to claim. All items were donated by league members, association supporters and local businesses.
The 35th Annual Festival of Trees is a popular way to usher in the holidays, according to AL member Danette Erickson who is the public relations coordinator for the gala. “It’s always fun to come to these. We are so proud. We sold out,” she said while admiring the filled room.
Chairman Karen Millman agreed. “This is a happy time. We are here to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season and to celebrate their support for our work in Glendale,” she said.
Entertainment was found in carolers – the Charismatics – from Crescenta Valley High school who were dressed in Dickens-era costumes, the Glendale High School chorus sang harmoniously on stage and the league’s own Assisteens diligently sold opportunity tickets outfitted in their festive Christmas aprons.
Millman was also pleased that the function was held in the league’s own hometown. She commended the team for putting the festival together and for serving the community. She also thanked guests for their continual support.
President Jean Peacock gave a warm welcome and explained how the money raised would benefit the club’s charities.
“We buy backpacks for foster care children. We bring authors and illustrators to Glendale elementary schools and provide funds for their libraries. We give scholarships to Glendale students; we hold classes for SAT exam preparation. We give special needs students training in Thrift Alley,” she said adding that they are happy to serve their community.