The Assistance League of Glendale held its 39th annual Festival of Trees, titled Dreams of Christmas Past, on Dec. 7 at the Glendale Hilton. The event is a major fundraiser for the organization with proceeds benefitting its many philanthropic outreaches including Operation School Bell, S.A.T. seminars, senior neighborhood luncheons, scholarships and the popular Authors & Illustrators Days. Authors and illustrators visit GUSD schools while making large donations to school libraries.
Approximately 400 guests attended the Festival of Trees with most making sure to stop at the many displays – 20 in all – that were presented and awarded. Among these was a traditional Christmas tree presented by Sally Benson and Karen Bynum that came with a stool, throw and champagne.
Another highly coveted item was the annual “Grandpa’s Rocking Horse” created by Diane Thisdell. Thisdell, who was instrumental in starting the festivals 39 years ago, was absent from this year’s festivities because she was in the hospital – but she made sure that the rocking horse, which she completed from her hospital bed, made it to the display area! She and her husband Rodger also contributed a tiny tree in a glass dome.
The Festival of Trees included a live auction that was indeed lively. Among the items for bid was a stay at the Saltbox historic residence in Cayucos. This getaway was won by Judy Fischer, Sylvia Kowal and friends for a girls getaway weekend.
Big winners of the day were Lorraine and Lenz Meylan who won Grandpa’s Rocking Horse and the traditional Christmas tree display.
Entertainment for the event was provided by the chorus from Keppel Elementary School, a visual and performing arts magnet school whose students were decked out in red sparkle dresses.
Local ALG members attending the annual Festival of Trees included Angela Hardee, Sally Benson, Danette Erickson, Donna Franklin, Rae McCormick, Jane Stavola. Local Auxiliary members included Sandy Fleischer, Joyce Gelsinger, Joyce Gharib and Gracella Gibbbs. The Assisteens girls helped with ticket sales and added to the festivities with bouncy Santa hats.
Contributed by Danette ERICKSON