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Festival of Trees gets town festive; lucky winners keep tree and gifts underneath

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  Saugonians got into the Christmas spirit during the Marleah Elizabeth Graves Foundation (MEG) Festival of Trees during its opening night last Friday.

  According to MEG Foundation board member Lynda Torregrossa, of Revere, there are 33 large theme trees and five small trees this year, along with a dozen gift baskets. The tree festival runs through this weekend, and winners will be called Sunday morning.

  The foundation supports local activities, especially for youths. MEG Foundation board member Patricia Staples said guests often see people they haven’t seen. “We have a lot of repeat offenders,” Staples said. “It takes approximately 50 businesses or residents to put this together.”

  Although the festival doesn’t have as many trees as last year (reaching into the 50s), donors and guests still were feeling festive.

  Compass Real Estate tree donor Gayle Winters said she donated to give back to the town that she lives in. “I feel grateful,” Winters said. “If it brings someone pleasure to receive my tree and gifts, it’s worth it.”

  Her tree had a black and white theme to it, complete with a dog treat stocking. She brought her dog, Winnie, to see the trees.

  In the main room, Gloria Trentini, of Revere, said the Festival of Trees uplifts her and gets her in the Christmas spirit.

  Her friend, Clare Prizio, said she likes to take chances at the variety of trees. She won a white tree during a previous festival.

  In the next room over, sisters Daniela and Emma DeCristoforo were eyeing a Crayola tree for its Pop It toys, coloring books and rainbow effect under the tree’s base.

  Tree donor Kristin Parsons donated a “Fancy Like” tree, on behalf of her Partners in Rehabilitation employer in Saugus, to the tune of country music artist Walker Hayes’ Applebee’s jingle. “We look forward to coming every year,” Parsons said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

  MEG Foundation trustee Kathy Giannetti, who dressed as an elf, donated a buffalo check ribbon tree with a Santa face, topped off with a Frosty the Snowman hat. “People are looking for fun things to do,” Giannetti said. “This Christmas event is one of them.”

  Cost: $1 per ticket or 25 tickets for $20. For information, visit 58 Essex St. this weekend.

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Compass realtor Gayle Winters with her dog, Winnie, donated this black and white tree, complete with a dog treat stocking.
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Tree Committee Chairwoman Nancy Prag (far right) Tree Committee member Margery Hunter and her friend Sue Molina donated this birdfeeder tree. (Advocate photos by Tara Vocino)
The sunflower tree up for grabs brightened up the cold weather.
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Santa waves to drivers along Essex Street entering the festival.
Joyce and Peter Rossetti donated this COVID-19 Relief Over 21 tree, using nips as ornaments.
Revere residents Gloria Trentini and Clare Prizio said they won a white tree during a previous Festival of Trees.
Trees were themed and decorated.
THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT: Nicholas Roberson, 4, of Methuen, enjoys himself during the MEG Foundation’s 11th Annual Christmas Tree Festival last Saturday, Dec. 4 at the MEG Building in Cliftondale Square. The festival will continue today (Friday, Dec. 10) and tomorrow, from 3-8 p.m. in the MEG Building at 54-58 Essex St. (Advocate photo by Christopher Roberson)
A Saugus Iron Works pamphlet caught the eye.
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Malden Overcoming Addiction (MOA) used butterflies in place of traditional ornaments.
MEG Foundation board member Patricia Staples donated this grill master signature prize.
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Saugus-based Partners in Rehab made this “Fancy Like” country music tree.
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Shown from left to right are Partners in Rehabilitation employee Kristin Parsons and her daughters, Isabella, 12, and Abigail, 7, who donated the “Fancy Like” country music tree, inspired by the Applebee’s jingle during last Friday’s MEG Foundation Festival of Trees opening night.
Saugus resident/MEG board trustee Kathy Giannetti, dressed as an elf, donated this buffalo check ribbon tree.
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Shown from left to right are Abigail Parsons, 7, Cameron Prescott, 7, Madison Prescott, 12, and Isabella Parsons, 12. They were hoping to bring home the Daughters of the American Revolution tree.
Hoping to win the Crayola tree are Caitlin Devine and her daughters, Emma DeCristoforo, 9, and Daniela DeCristoforo, 6.
MEG Foundation board member Lynda Torregrossa donated the boy-girl children’s trees – collectively valued at $300.

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