Festival of Trees to take root at the Betty Ehart Senior Center

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By The Staff

The annual Festival of Trees will kick the holiday season into high gear Saturday.

The jam-packed event, held each year from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Betty Ehart Senior Center, is a fundraiser for the Community Health Council and Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization (LARSO).

“I was amazed by how many trees we got this year,” said Michelangelo Lobato, Community Health Council coordinator. “They are all beautiful, and we are fortunate to be in a community where so many people will take the time to participate.”

This year, 41 trees, ranging from table toppers to hanging trees, will decorate the center.

Also included in the event are glass, ceramic, some with hand-knitted and tatted ornaments, all natural ornaments from the Summit Garden club, music, candy, sports, snow, apples, toys, gingerbread, birds, modern and old-fashioned themes.

“There are also seven beautiful wreaths - some small and some quite large. There is a tree that has flashing lights and plays multiple tunes,” said Co-Chair Pauline Powell Schneider.

Louise Hassman, the former RSVP director, who has been putting together trees for months, dominates the event. She brought 16 trees and three wreaths, which will be featured at the festival.

“Her creativity is unlimited and she has a wonderful ability to recycle various items into charming and delightful holiday treasures,” Schneider said.

The senior center wouldn’t be complete without a mini mall for everyone’s holiday shopping needs.

Vendors will be offering numerous wares for sale such as jerky, jewelry, kid’s aprons, scarves and felted bags, wood art, birdhouses, decorated brooms and holiday décor.

Pat Reich and Dr. Greg Schneider, will provide the musical entertainment throughout the Festival of Trees event.

Reich, who is also a member of the music group My Blue Heaven, will play the piano, while Schneider of Music Together will strum his classical guitar.

Santa Claus will be on hand to hear people’s Christmas wishes and to pose for photos.

Lobato and Schneider have spent many hours perfecting the family- friendly event.

“Pauline is a hard working, dedicated individual, who has the community’s best interest in mind. We could not do this without her,” Lobato said.