WESTFIELD – After the turkeys and all the trimmings have been enjoyed, most people turn their attention to Chanukah and Christmas, and Westfield on Weekends’ Tree Jubilee is the perfect way to kick-start the holidays this year.
Even before the turkeys were thawed, the WOW tree elves were hard at work creating a magical forest at the Roots Athletic Center, 181 Root Road, home of this year’s Tree Jubilee. Part of WOW’s DecemberFest, the Tree Jubilee has 19 decorated trees and a dozen wreaths available for those wishing to take a chance in the first-ever online Tree Jubilee raffle.
“We really wanted to continue this tradition and bring some cheer to folks during a difficult year,” said WOW Co-President Robert Plasse. “To allow everyone to participate, we have added a virtual component to the event this year.”
The trees and wreaths can be seen in-person at Roots as well as online. To reduce contact during the pandemic, raffle tickets must be purchased online only through westfieldonweekends.com.
Each tree and wreath can be viewed at westfieldonweekends.com along with a description of the tree and wreath, the donor, and any “extras” that raffle winners will receive. Every tree and wreath comes with a combined one-month subscription to The Republican and The Westfield News for new subscribers. Many trees and wreaths also include gift cards and gifts.
The Boys and Girls Club tree includes the decorated tree, which features glittery ornaments and lights in rainbow colors, as well as gift cards to Walmart and North Elm Butcher Block, three $10 Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards and games such as a horseshoe set, giant snow tube, corn hole game and more.
Some trees, including the “Graceful Green and Gold Tree” donated by Marion Kraus and Barbara Wojick, include a personal touch.
Kraus and Wojick are friends who handcraft ornaments every year and donate them on a decorated tree to the Tree Jubilee. They also created trees for the Westfield Senior Center – one honoring Westfield Police, one for Westfield Fire and another for Westfield’s veterans.
Kraus and Wojick said they have wonderful connections and receive some materials as donations and the women create the ornaments themselves. This year’s Tree Jubilee tree features shades of green with a bit of gold. Each green ball ornament has a handmade bow carefully created by Kraus and Wojick, who spent the better part of the summer working on the decorations.
“We really enjoy decorating and creating the ornaments,” said Wojick of their labor of love.
Kraus added “It’s fun. We decorate at our apartment building every year – it’s just something we enjoy.”
The women like finding a new theme each year and said they especially enjoyed creating the trees for the Senior Center, which are displayed annually.
“The veteran tree was the hardest to do,” Kraus said, “and this green tree is something we have wanted to do for a while.”
The Reminder Publishing/Westfield News tree includes handmade ornaments featuring photos of Westfield on wood slices and a green and blue plaid bow, ribbons and tree skirt.
The Sullivan family honored the late Kevin Sullivan, a member of the Westfield School Committee, with a tree decorated in shades of white topped with a lighted angel. The tree comes with several gift cards to local eateries as well as a priceless treasure – a blanket handmade by Edie Sullivan, Kevin’s mother.
The most unique “tree” sums up 2020 perfectly – it is created from 68 rolls of toilet paper. Dubbed “A Tree for the Times,” it was donated by Paul and Lesley Sporbert.
The selection of wreaths includes a white wreath that comes with bows for all seasons donated by Hair by JessZ and a wreath donated by Cannabis Connection that pays homage to the fire department.
View the trees in-person at Roots Athletic Center and online, and purchase raffle tickets at westfieldonweekends.com beginning Nov. 27. The Tree Jubilee runs through Dec. 6. Winners will be drawn Dec. 6. Trees can be viewed in person at Roots daily during facility hours, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. A link to the trees is also on the WOW Facebook page.