Woodcraft Joins Blennerhassett Hotel Festival of Trees to Benefit Easter Seals

West Virginia area businesses and individuals have brought the spirit of Christmas to the Blennerhassett Hotel in downtown Parkersburg.  Located at 320 Market Street, this upscale historical home-away-from-home is hosting it’s annual Festival of Trees starting November 19th, 2013.  Come view the trees throughout the hotel free of charge daily, until the last day of viewing, which is Friday, December 6th, 2013 at 2 pm.  Enjoy all the decor, whether you are just viewing,  joining the hotel for coffee inside at Starbucks, having breakfast, lunch, dinner or staying as a guest.

Breakfast with Santa is planned for December 1, at 9:30 am.  Have your picture taken with Santa beginning at 10:00 am as well.  Hosted by the Easter Seals of WV, breakfast with Santa is a fun event for the whole family.  A 10.00/person admission includes breakfast, FREE photo with the big guy, activity and of course, priceless memories!  Space is limited, so purchase your tickets in advance at Starbucks inside The Blennerhassett Hotel as soon as possible.

“Creating Solutions, Changing Lives”…Easter Seals

Silent  and Live Auction

On Tuesday, December 3rd, The Blennerhassett Hotel will hold an auction event, beginning with a silent auction and cash bar at 6 pm, and live auction at 7 pm, where 41 items consisting of the decorated trees, wreathes, and mantle pieces will be sold to the highest bidders.  A new menu will also be featured by the Blennerhassett’s Chef for the evenings festivities.  All proceeds from the auction will go to serve the Easter Seals West Virginia Uncompensated Care Program, which allows children who are uninsured, or under insured, to receive treatment regardless of an inability to pay.  According to Jess Sanders, Easter Seals Community Relations Director, “Our mission is to create solutions that change lives for kids with special needs and their families.  While Festival of Trees has been going on for 27 years, this is “our” second year of hosting the Blennerhassett event.  We have been working closely with the hotel/ownership to really enhance the event in all aspects so this event will continue to evolve – and that’s good!”

Handcrafted Christmas by Woodcraft

Woodcraft employees have generously donated their time and efforts to this cause, providing a “Handcrafted Christmas by Woodcraft” decorated tree for the hotel and benefit auction.   More than 150 ornaments adorn the tree which were created by various artisans who used their different talents such as turning and scrollsawn abilities to provide classic, traditional, and modern decorative items to make the tree come alive.  Even the tree base weighing over 50 lbs, was handcrafted by the Ben and George team from our product development department.  This solid stand is made from Quilted Maple with Figured Bubinga End Caps, completed with Waterlox finish.  Another “Woodcraft touch” was adding four- #5 WoodRiver Planes, aerodynamically ramping up towards the tree trunk, held tightly in place with large magnets under the felt pads.

The Christmas tree is just not complete without the traditional tree topper which is a scrollsawn gilded angel, created by Darin Lawrence, also of the product team.  Tommy & Rachel Macdonald of the PBS woodworking show Rough Cut-Woodworking with Tommy Mac sent along some ornaments for the tree as did Scott & Suzy Phillips of The American Woodshop.

The Woodcraft warehouse contributed 40 laser engraved ornaments and our customer service department made ornaments as well.

Other Woodcraft elves were hard at work in their shops creating handcrafted ornaments including a nativity scene, grapevine wreathes with wooden snowflakes, walnut kaleidoscopes, Tru-Stone/Kit turnings, and many, many others, check it out! 

Here is our interview with Cecil Childress, Manager of The Blennerhassett Hotel and Easter Seals Community Relations Director, Jess Sanders to tell us all about the event.

Come to The historic Blennerhassett Hotel to view the “Handcrafted Christmas by Woodcraft” tree as well as all the other beautiful trees, mantle pieces and wreathes.  Enjoy some fine cuisine, and partake in the auction.  Who knows, one or more of these trees could be going home with you!

Addendum – 12/04/13

As an addendum, the “Handcrafted Christmas by Woodcraft” Tree with over 150 handcrafted ornaments was named “best of show” and live auctioned for $10,00 by a bidder who wished to remain anonymous.  The winning bidder was quoted as saying, “This is for the kids of Easter Seals and we are happy to be able to do this for them.”

In addition, Tommy MacDonald of the Woodcraft sponsored PBS woodworking show, Rough Cut-Woodworking with Tommy Mac donated a Standing Mirror from season 2 that he built in collaboration with marquetry designs inspired by Paul Schürch.  The mirror was the highlight and highest ticket item of the silent auction with its winning bid, along with its new owner, remaining anonymous.

The entire evening of tree, wreath, and mantel piece items raised $36,191 for the Easter Seals children.  “This is the largest turnout we have had in years,” said Blennerhassett general manager Cecil Childress. “The Easter Seals really doubled-down in their hunt for donors this year, and their efforts have taken the event to a whole new level.  We hope next year’s event is even bigger and better, always for these kids.”

“All proceeds from the auction went to Easter Seals West Virginia, and will stay in the Mid-Ohio Valley”,  said Jess Puglisi, communications director for Easter Seals of West Virginia.  For additional details on the auction event go to this link for The News and Sentinel for Parkersburg, West Virginia.

Woodcraft hopes that next year’s tree will offer even more ornaments!

Merry Christmas and have a happy & safe woodworking New Year!
auf Wiedersehen!…Frank

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