RANGELEY — This year’s Parade of Trees was on Dec. 6 at Saddleback Mountain. The normal array of business trees trimmed the area with trees by Morton & Furbish Real Estate & Rental, Saddleback Mountain, Niboban Sporting Camps, The Rangeley Merchants, The Oquossoc Merchants and Sunrise View Farms.

This year these were complimented by an additional seven trees presented by classes at Rangeley Lakes Regional School and sponsored by other local businesses. The creativity and thoughtful production of the trees made all mindful of the world outside the area.

The students at RLRS chose a theme for each of their trees and creatively decorated each. The K-2 tree, “The Mitten Tree,” was sponsored by Franklin Savings Bank. It was based on the book “Mitten” by Jan Brett. Homemade mitten garland and animal ornaments adorned the tree. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this tree will be donated to the Franklin Memorial Hospital pediatric unit to assist with purchasing of books.

Grades 3-5 tree was titled “Whirled Peace” and was sponsored by Turner Publishing. Uniquely handcrafted ornaments reflected the spirit of peace. “Everyone Deserves the Right to Peace” was the plaque that adorned the tree. The students wished all the people of the world a peaceful holiday. Each pinwheel was crafted by a joint student effort with the hope for a future that breaks through barriers and reaches across diversity in love.

Grade 8 was “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” and was sponsored by Summit Roofing. This tree was covered with blue lights and decorations and celebrated the natural beauty of the great outdoors and the peace and splendor of Rangeley in the wintertime. The tree included a large snowman as an additional ornament.

The freshman class tree was “Stocking Stuffers” and was sponsored by Coca Cola Bottling. This creative tree was adorned with homemade stockings loaded with gifts to surprise any fancy.

The sophomore class tree was “Outdoor Sportsman” and was sponsored by M & H Logging. The tree reflected the great outdoors with ornaments made with hand-tied flies, squirrels, bears and deer.

The junior class tree was “Movie Night … Family Time” and was sponsored by the Rangeley Highlander. This tree was covered with movies, popcorn and candy, enough to provide many hours of family time.

The senior class tree was “Ever-Green-Tree,” which was covered with one dollar bills and recycled ornaments and tinsel.

Each attendee was give one vote for their favorite tree. This year it was a very difficult decision with several being in the top listing. First place goes to the Sunrise View Tree that was adorned with live plants and decorated in a spectacular fashion. Second place went to Saddleback Ski Area with their creative themed tree of nature animals.

Additionally nonprofits were asked to participate and provide items for the silent auction with proceeds to be shared with each. Nonprofits participating were: Rangeley Snowmobile Club, Rangeley Parent Teachers Association, Rangeley Guides, Rangeley Skeet and Trap Association, American Legion, Rangeley Friends of the Arts, Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, Little Mountain School, Rangeley Health & Wellness and the Rangeley Logging Museum. Twenty-eight items were presented at the auction, making it a wonderful place to finish Christmas shopping and support great organizations.

Music, a dinner buffet and good company made for a wonderful time for all attending. The 2014 Parade of Trees was the most successful yet and provided funding to many nonprofit organizations.

“When all was said and done we raised $24,000 after expenses,” said Leeanna Wilbur from the Rotary. “These funds supported the RLRS classes, nonprofits, Rangeley Rotary and Chamber. It was a win-win for the community that night!”

The Parade of Trees Committee wishes to thank everyone who participated.

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