Dental clinic plans third annual Festival of Trees
It might seem odd to be thinking of brightly lit, decorated trees nestled in a snow-white winter wonderland at the beginning of September, but it’s not too early to consider creating a themed tree for the St. Apollonia Dental Clinic Festival of Trees.
This year’s third annual event will be held the first weekend of December at the Northern Maine Community College Smith Wellness Center gym. All proceeds will support the operation of the Presque Isle children’s dental clinic.
Last year’s festival included 44 decorated trees, which were raffled off and went home with excited winners, reported the clinic’s Dr. Norma Desjardins. NMCC is preparing to handle more trees in terms of space and is already capable of taking on more electrical load. The floor plan and layout will allow for 70 or more trees to be displayed, Desjardins said. In addition, the festival will once again include refreshments at the “Gingerbread Caf√©” hosted by Aramark.
There will be no admission fee this year. All are encouraged to attend the festival with family members and friends, to enjoy the festive atmosphere and to take in the spectacle of decorated trees. Raffle tickets will be sold throughout the weekend at a rate of 10 tickets for $5. Guests may then deposit a ticket or tickets in the bucket associated with their tree(s) of choice. All trees and any associated gift items are raffled off on Sunday afternoon, the festival’s last day.
The Friends of St. Apollonia Dental Clinic Festival of Trees committee is now accepting registrations.
According to Sherry Chamberland, Chair of the event, the Festival forest has literally grown from 24 trees in its first year to 44 trees last year.
“At this point I have 68 possible trees for the 2016 festival,” Chamberland said. “People are already talking about their trees and sharing creative, fun ideas for tree themes and gifts. In some cases, businesses or individuals are teaming up to sponsor a tree and combine resources. We’re sensing great teamwork and camaraderie.”
One new tree sponsor this year is the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s SAGE (Seniors Achieving Greater Education). According to the group’s Fall 2016 brochure, a service project is a new workshop offering. SAGE members will choose a theme and design the decorations for their entry.
Following last year’s festival the committee received word from Scott Amero of the Presque Isle WalMart that the store wanted to donate “all of its display trees to next year’s Festival, to use as the committee saw fit, to help grow the festival.”
The donation means that the clinic has trees available for businesses or individuals who have expressed an interest in sponsoring a tree and want a chance to purchase one at a deep discount.
Tree sponsor registrations are now being accepted. Contact Chamberland at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.stapolloniadentalclinic.com for a registration form. The first 70 tree registrations will be accepted.
Approximately 3,000 children from all over Aroostook County find their dental home at the St. Apollonia Dental Clinic, a nonprofit corporation providing specialty services for pediatric and exceptional needs patients.
Dr. Erik Johnson is a pediatric dentist who is trained in treating extensive dental disease and in treating children with complex medical issues who have dental disease and/or need preventive dental care.
For more information please call 207-554-5045.