See more than 30 glittering trees at Festival this weekend
This week, tree designers decorated more than 30 Christmas trees for the 31st annual Mary Bridge Children's Festival of Trees at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center.
Festival of Trees benefits Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and features an array of events throughout the week, including public viewing days today and tomorrow.
One of the trees on display, titled “On Safari,” depicts an African safari scene with handmade wildlife masks and art by world-renowned wildlife artist John Banovich. It was designed by a team passionate about Mary Bridge.
Tree designer Cindy Turco, from Tacoma, has a close connection to Mary Bridge. Her daughter received care from the children’s hospital several years ago before passing away. The compassion from her daughter’s caregivers inspired her to start helping at Festival five years ago.
“My heart was really in it,” Turco says.
Her team of helpers grows every year. One of Turco’s assistants and friends, Catherine Boardman, enjoys the opportunity to give back through art. She designed the wildlife masks adorning the tree.
“It’s all about the kids,” she says. “I love having the opportunity to be a part of Mary Bridge, support the kids and give back what I received.”
Several years ago Boardman’s daughter had an unexpected overnight stay at Mary Bridge after catching the flu.
“A scary situation was made very loving and accepting,” Boardman says. “That stays with you as a parent. It was a stressful situation but [the staff] were calm, loving and competent. They made it easy.”
Turco and her team have been working on their tree since last December, designing and creating ornaments and raising money to procure items to be auctioned off with the tree. Artist John Banovich donated signed reproductions of his wildlife art and a safari trip with 5-star accommodations.
Festival of Trees 2017 event schedule
Festival of Trees public hours are Friday, Dec. 1, from 9am-1pm and Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10:30am-2pm.
- General: $6 each
- Students (ages 13-18): $2 each
- Children 12 and under: free