“Tree of Elegance” A guest blog from Cheryl-Anne Millsap

Cascading Creations GardenStone kelly tareski monte tareski spokane grapevine Spokane symphony

Most of the time I like to say that numbers are not my friends. I mix them up and turn them around. I round up and I round down. I transpose and confuse. Things just don’t always add up for me.
          But that all changes when I start talking about the trees. About the 12 beautiful trees displayed on the mezzanine of the Davenport Hotel. Those numbers are easy.
          Each year for 28 years the Spokane Symphony Associates have been decorating trees. Christmas Tree Elegance is the largest fundraiser for the Spokane Symphony and thousands of people have admired the hard work of hundreds of volunteers who put in more than 10,000 hours to make it all happen.
           Each year, the first 12 days of the holiday season 12 trees are decorated and accessorized. There is one handcrafted Old World Father Christmas, as well. Each tree has a value of $4,999 and includes much more than decorations. The combined value of all the trees is $60,760 and travel, jewelry, cash and even flat-screen televisions and iPads, are part of the packages. More than 10,000 lights make the trees shine.
          As many as 25,000 people stop by to admire the trees and purchase $1 raffle tickets to drop in the box by their favorite tree or trees.
          During Christmas Tree Elegance there are special events to enjoy. There are four luncheons, one black-tie gala, one intimate evening with the Symphony conductor and one hat luncheon and boutique style show. More than 7,000 people attend those special events.
          Perhaps the reason all those numbers are easy to recall is that CTE is more than just a pretty party to me. As one of the co-chairs, I feel a special sense of pride in what we accomplished last year and hope to do again in 2010.
          Last year, Christmas Tree Elegance raised more than $160,000 for the symphony. Even with the early snow and wintry weather, we’re on track to raise significant funds again this year.
          That kind of effort is worth remembering. Even if you don’t have a head for numbers.

Sidebar:
Christmas Tree Elegance runs until 9pm Dec. 11 when the winning raffle tickets will be drawn. For more information go to www.spokanesymphonyassoc.org

          Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes for The Spokesman-Review. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

Pictures from this years Tree of Elegance

Monte & Kelly Tareski
Spokane Grapevine
GardenStone Creaions
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Monte Tareski