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Wed., Oct. 7
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North Country Festival of Trees grossed $125,000


The North Country Festival of Trees grossed $125,000 for pediatric programs and services at Samaritan Medical Center and for scholarship assistance at the Watertown Family YMCA.

Michelle M. Nickles, Samaritan Foundation’s community relations coordinator, said the event committee should know soon what the total net profit is.

One thing the committee does know, she said, is attendance for both the gala and Sugarplum Ball were the best they’ve ever been, as there were 747 attendees at the Sugarplum Ball and 303 at the gala.

The festival was held Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 at the Dulles State Office Building.

“It was just a great turnout,” Mrs. Nickles said. “We had more decorators involved, a lot of community support and a great committee. I’d like to thank the community for support, because the support is needed for both organizations.”

Y Executive Director Peter W. Schmitt said the majority of the Y’s portion of the funds will be used to ensure its programs are available for everyone in the community, particularly children.

Throughout the past five years, he said, more financial assistance has been provided for arts programs, sports programs and child care.

“The largest scholarship (portions) for us are school-age child care and child care,” Mr. Schmitt said. “It was close to $168,000 that (went) into those areas this past year. I’d expect our scholarships to increase, and it’ll go up to about $180,000.”

Along with the gala and ball, the festival featured the display, judging and auctioning of 4-foot and 7-foot Christmas trees.

This year’s new awards for the Jim Henry Most Whimsical trees went to the Wladis Law Firm, which sponsored and decorated a 7-foot tree with the theme “Atlantis: Christmas Time in the Lost City,” and to the 4-foot tree “Kaleidoscope Christmas,” sponsored by North Country Emergency Medical and decorated by Reata Castor, Kathy Nicole, Dr. Maja Lundborg-Gray and Dr. Sarah Delaney-Rowland.

Other award-winning trees had themes such as “Christmas in Seussville,” “Just Chillin,” “A Mickey Christmas,” “Vintage Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland,” among many others.

Winners of all 16 awards are expected to be listed soon on Samaritan’s website,

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