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Festival of Trees brightens Wallingford nursing home

Proceeds from an annual tree auction benefit Masonicare residents In Wallingford.

WALLINGFORD, Conn. — The Festival of Trees at Hartford's Wadsworth Athenaeum wrapped up on Sunday. But a different Festival of Trees is underway inside a nursing home's walls in Wallingford.

Masonicare's 33rd Annual Festival of Trees is back in full throttle this year, after a COVID hiatus. Several dozen wreaths and intricately decorated trees are on display throughout the halls.

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Staff who tend to residents engaged in a holiday competition, with each department decorating its own tree. And each is being auctioned off. Proceeds will be used to buy holiday gifts for residents who have endured years of isolation during the pandemic. 

“There’s no prize for your tree, but you have bragging rights if it comes back with the highest bid," said Volunteer Coordinator Mary Cooper. "All of our departments across the continuum can get together and have a healthy competitiveness to it but also we get to bid on these beautiful trees.”

Bidding is open through Friday and the public is welcome--so long as you mask up.

“For our residents that don’t really have any family members that come to visit, or they live too far, it gives us a chance to go face-to-face, give them a Christmas gift, have them open it with us. The joy that comes across their face is amazing," said Courtney O'Sullivan, administrator of long-term care. "During COVID it was missed. We have our residents who talk about it continuously, our family members were asking if it was coming back."

Samaia Hernandez is a reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at shernandez@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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