By: Lorrie Ward Jackson | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: November 2010
The Festival of Trees committee shows some of the silent auction items to be available for bidding. (L to R): Vicky Mosier, Tabi Poole, Germaine Watkins, Barry Cramer, Cari Bohannan, Barbara Ingram and Mary Gajarski.
Are you looking for a fun holiday event that can provide enjoyment for the whole family while contributing to a worthy local cause? Then you will want to mark your calendar for the 6th annual Festival of Trees on Thursday, December 2 and Friday, December 3. Held at Rogers State University’s Centennial Center, the event is hosted by Safenet Services, a domestic violence shelter serving Rogers and Mayes counties.
Thursday night’s festivities were planned with children and families especially in mind. When the little ones enter the door, they will be handed candy to help decorate the community gingerbread house. Both the community gingerbread house and other gingerbread creation homes will be available for bidding in a silent auction. The whole family will enjoy the gorgeous trees on display and vote for the People’s Choice Tree, to be announced on Friday night. And everyone will want to wander through Santa’s Sweet Shop. In fact, special guest Santa Claus will be in attendance, ready to take photos with the little ones. Tickets for Thursday night’s event are $10 per adult and $3 per child, with one child free per adult ticket purchased.
Friday evening, doors will open again to the community, for adults to experience the holiday through a feast for the eyes and the stomach. Individually and business sponsored trees will glow and sparkle as they vie for the attention of anyone who would like to purchase them through auction. Trees this year are designed by Onita Johnson of O.J. Interiors and Cindy of Florals by Teddie Rae in Pryor. While attendees wander through the trees, making what is sure to be a difficult decision on which tree to place a bid on, they can enjoy delicious food and spirits. For this event, corporate tables are $500 and individual tickets are $35.
The Festival of Trees is geared to the holiday season, but its effects will reach throughout the year. “This benefits Safenet Service’s Capital Campaign for a new shelter,” explains Tammy Thomas, member of the Festival of Trees committee. “Last year auction participants were extremely generous; however, we would love to exceed that this year.”
The need for a new shelter has been steadily growing in our area, as more and more women have approached Safenet Services for help. “We have had to turn away 166 women in the last three months due to a lack of shelter space,” Tammy says. “We find other places for them of course, but those places are out of Rogers County.”
“Domestic violence is a cycle that keeps going and going through each generation,” Tammy goes on to state. “Safenet works to help stop that cycle.”
For tickets, to sponsor a tree, or to buy a corporate table, contact Susan Wolfenbarger at (918) 341-1424.
Safenet Services is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit domestic violence and sexual assault agency with the mission of providing victims shelter in Rogers and Mayes counties. The agency operates with 16 active Board of Directors who oversee the agency’s development, policies and procedure, financial status, and fundraising. Safenet is certified by the Office of the Attorney General and is a United Way Program. The Festival Committee will provide you with a donation receipt should you desire one for tax purposes.