Divided among the various community groups, service organizations, local businesses and politicians in the Town of Islip, each of the 40 live Christmas trees spread across the lawn of Brookwood Hall …
Divided among the various community groups, service organizations, local businesses and politicians in the Town of Islip, each of the 40 live Christmas trees spread across the lawn of Brookwood Hall in East Islip was purchased and decorated to each group’s liking as part of the sixth-annual Festival of Trees.
“It is a fun community day where everyone gets to come in a community atmosphere and decorate a tree,” said Islip councilman Jim O’Connor, who bought a tree for the East Islip Senior Center, based right on Brookwood Hall’s grounds.
O’Connor and the Islip Arts Council hosted the event on Dec. 4 at Brookwood Hall, of which the arts council is the tenant. Involved for the second straight year, O’Connor said the event is a modest fundraiser for the arts council and that there are additional community members to thank, particularly mentioning Liz Mayott, president of Islip Food for Hope and a member of the Islip Rotary Club.
“Some of the folks from the community here are very active and involved in making sure today is a big success,” O’Connor said. “It is really kind of an organic event that really grows right out of the community.”
Several local service organizations and community groups bought and decorated trees. East Islip Interact Club, Islip Rotary, Youth Enrichment Services, Poppy’s Angels, Islip Booster Club, Kiwanis of the Islips and Bay Shore, two chambers of commerce, and many others took part in the festivities as well.
Various businesses ingrained in the Islip community were present and decorating, too, including salons, flower shops, funeral homes and hospitals, like Good Samaritan and Southside Hospital. Actually, Southside Hospital purchased two Christmas trees.
“It is great to be out here with everybody decorating the trees for the holiday and having some fun,” said Eddie Fraser, Northwell Health’s vice president of community relations. “This is what we do at Northwell; we are out here in every community, and it is important for us to be a part of all this grassroots stuff that everybody touches every day.”
Jane Miller of Caroline’s Flower Shoppe said this is her third year participating in the tree-decorating event at Brookwood Hall. Miller is a member of the Islip Rotary, Islip Chamber of Commerce and Islip Food for Hope, which are all well-established local organizations and groups that have a particular emphasis on giving back to the community.
“I help out every way I can. I do a lot of donations for fundraising, so I make flower arrangements for a lot of different reasons.” n