By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: November 2015
Graham Kornmeyer and Jim Tanner having a grand time at last year’s Festival of Trees.
Safenet Services’ Festival of Trees jump starts the holiday season in Claremore each year. This marks the 11th year for the event, with proceeds benefiting the domestic and sexual assault agency for women and children. “What many people don’t realize is how needed this service is in our community,” said Donna Grabow, executive director of Safenet Services. “One in four women experience domestic violence. In 2014, we answered 4,952 crisis line calls. Currently the shelter is completely full, with 18 women and 17 children. This event is so important because it provides many critical services for free to the women and children in our community who need help.”
The Festival of Trees will be held Friday, December 4 at the new Claremore Conference Center. The theme this year is “Elegance at Christmas.” But first, the inner child in us will be fulfilled upon entering the doors, where a dazzling Candy Land display will include gingerbread houses, candy canes and other sugary décor. Jesse Glover with Cozy Cottage will transform the entry into a spectacularly sweet sight. From there, guests will transition to an elegant, upscale affair.
Doors open at 6 p.m. A silent auction takes place until 7:15 and will be followed by a live auction. Brian Marlin of Inola returns as auctioneer this year. “Brian does a wonderful job and has an excellent rapport with guests,” said Donna. “We’re very pleased he is returning.”
Trees ranging from 4 to 9 feet in a variety of traditional and unique themes will sprinkle the venue and will be sold in the live auction. Trees purchased in the auction are delivered the following day. Several local businesses sponsor the trees, which are decorated by talented local designers. In addition, companies can decorate their own tree and donate it for the auction. “New this year is the option for businesses to purchase trees designed specifically for their company by a local designer and delivered to their office. Prices will vary, and interested companies may call Safenet Services,” said Emily Brown, resource coordinator of Safenet Services.
The Festival of Trees will feature live music, wine and other beverages, and heavy hors d’oeuvres by Chef Bill Baird of the Hammett House. “His food is truly spectacular,” added Donna.
To date, Festival of Trees sponsors include: Ballroom Sponsors, Jim Glover Chevrolet, Win and Kay Ingersol, and MC Petroleum; Table Sponsors, Asset Industrial, BancFirst, Grand Bank, Hillcrest Hospital Claremore, Pryor Stone, and MC Petroleum; Hors d’oeuvres Sponsor, Pryor Stone; and Tree Sponsors, Kissee Ford, Pelco Structural, and Buck and Andy Willis. They are still in need of sponsors, and various levels of sponsorship are available. Tree sponsorships vary depending on size; a 4-foot tree is $500, 7.5-foot is $750, and 9-foot is $800. “If a company has a certain amount they would like to sponsor, such as $300, we will purchase an item for them to be auctioned at the event,” said Donna. “A lot of businesses purchase table sponsorships and make the event their company party.”
Tickets to the Festival of Trees are $40 and include heavy hors d’oeuvres and wine and other beverages. Tickets may be purchased at the door. However, the crowd gets bigger every year, and it’s best to buy in advance at the District on Main, Cozy Cottage, or by calling Safenet Services at (918) 341-1424.
Safenet is a United Way Agency and Certified by the Office of the Attorney General.
Several gorgeous, fully decorated Christmas trees will be auctioned at the Festival of Trees.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.
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