O Christmas Tree: Heart of the Catskills to hold annual Christmas tree raffle


DELHI - The Heart of the Catskills Humane Society is gearing up for its annual “Heart of the Holiday” Christmas tree raffle fundraiser on Dec. 2 at the Delaware County Historical Association.

The annual event, where 15 large and 20 small creatively adorned trees take center stage to support the local animal shelter. Last year the event raised just over $6,000, said Director Deb Crute.

The shelter provides the artificial trees to volunteers - some are donated back from winners from the previous year - and volunteers decorate the trees. Those volunteers are individuals or groups - and, “There’s always a lovely mix of themes,” Crute said. Each tree becomes a unique masterpiece, telling a story, such as the one by the Central Delaware Clovers 4H Club, whose tree theme was an old-fashioned Christmas. The tree was outfitted in paper chains, miniature candles and other decorations that depict a vintage look.

4Her Ellie Grace explained the club wanted to decorate the tree because, “It’s for a really good cause.” Grace loves animals and has two horses and a few pet rabbits at home.

The fully decorated Christmas trees showcase the diversity and creativity of volunteers who brought their works of art to life.

Walton sisters Mary Torma Kelly and Kathy Brown have been decorating a themed tree for the annual raffle since it began around 2005. Last year their tree was beached-themed. This year their theme is “Grandma’s Gingerbread.” The two outfitted their tree with a string of candy-shaped lights and similar to years past the raffle winner of their tree will also receive a cookie jar full of cookies - this year gingerbread - and two mugs filled with fixings for hot chocolate - also gingerbread themed.

Torma Kelly and Brown are both community minded, they said, and in addition to donating their time and creative efforts to the shelter, also create the wreaths and kissing balls for the Walton Fire Department’s Christmas tree sale, another annual fundraiser.

Other tree themes include: “Kids Korner,” decorated with stuffed animals and toys by Maddy Gaffney and Kathy DuMortier; “Mental Awareness” by the Worn and Weathered Motorcycle Club; “Sweet Country Christmas” by Deborah Ford; and “A Tree of Dis(Ex)tinction by Franklin Metlicke with help from his parents and Uncle Marshall, among many others.

There is also a handmade log dog bed and other holiday items in the raffle.

Anyone can win a tree by entering the raffle - $5 per ticket or $25 for six tickets - which began Nov. 27. A winner will take home a fully-decorated tree. There are 20 small trees and 15 big trees and a beautiful handmade log dog bed along with some other holiday items for raffle.

The charitable event not only ignites the Christmas spirit but also provides much-needed funds and awareness for the well-being sheltered cats and dogs. The funds raised from the raffle go directly to the shelter, supporting medical care, food, and other essential items and services for sheltered animals. The shelter has an urgent need for basic daily items like canned cat food, cat toys, cat treats, soft dog treats,  bleach, paper towels, dish detergent and laundry detergent, Crute said.

Winning tickets will be selected on Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. There is a $5 admission which includes one raffle ticket. Children accompanied by a parent enter free.

Raffle trees and items can viewed from Nov. 27 through Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Delaware County Historical Association,  46549  state Route 10, Delhi.

For more information visit Heart of the Catskills