By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: November 2016
The Festival of Trees is a wonderful time to get together with friends and family. The festival features live music, wine and delicious food as well as beautifully decorated trees.
Safenet Services’ Festival of Trees jump starts the holiday season in Claremore each year. This year not only marks the 12th year for the event, with proceeds benefiting the domestic and sexual assault agency for women and children, but 25 years of operation for Safenet Services.
“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 2015, we answered 4,272 crisis line calls. Currently the shelter is nearly full, with 13 women and 14 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 2 at the new Claremore Conference Center. The theme this year is “Winter Wonderland”, which will be carried out throughout the evening.
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.
“This event is so much fun and has grown each year. We are thankful and overwhelmed by the excitement of the community and expect to sell out of tickets so if you are planning to purchase a table or tickets please call in advance,” 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.
To date, Festival of Trees sponsors include: Win & Kay Ingersol, Buck Willis, CPA; RCB Bank, Hillcrest Hospital Claremore, Inola Tool & Equipment, Asset Industrial, Cross Bo Construction, Banc First, Grand Bank, Per4mance Physical Therapy, Kissee Ford, MMS Payne Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Dorothy’s Flowers and Junior Ocieleta Club of Claremore.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 $800, and 9-foot is $900.
“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 in advance and $50 at the door 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.
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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