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CAST Hosts Inaugural Fundraiser: North Fork Festival Of Trees

The featured trees will be on view at the Treiber Farm. (Photo: Courtesy of CAST)

Remember that great song lyric from the Broadway musical and movie, "Mame" which states, "For we need a little Christmas, right this very minute..." well, Community Action Southold Town (CAST), a North Fork organization which has been providing essential services for struggling local families since 1965 agrees, and during these difficult and trying times is hosting a celebratory fundraiser and inaugural event - North Fork Festival of Trees - a showcase of over 20 holiday trees decorated by local artists and businesses to benefit CAST.

According to Cathy Demeroto, CAST Executive Director, "This hybrid virtual and live event will display spectacular uniquely themed trees decorated by local businesses, artists, and friends of CAST. The holiday trees and other wonderful items, including art from accomplished local artists, will be auctioned off to the highest bidder to benefit CAST. Those who come can meander through our magical tree garden while enjoying holiday music and refreshments for sale. There will be a Designer's Choice and People's Choice Award too."

The decorated trees will be ready for viewing on Friday, December 5 and Saturday, December 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Treiber Farm at 38320 Country Road 48 in Peconic. Tickets are $5 per person and seniors (65 and over) and children (10 and under) are free. Purchase of advance timed tickets is suggested.

Demeroto explained how this clever idea came about, "I had participated in a similar event in Baltimore benefiting Kennedy Krieger Hospital years ago and CAST's Senior Client Support Specialist, Sharon McHugh, attended one in Portland, Oregon. We were talking about how fun and festive the events were and then said, 'We can do this on the North Fork!' It's been a huge amount of work, but will be well worth it! We could not have pulled it off without a great committee of very talented and passionate local supporters. We hope to grow this event next year as we had many more businesses that wanted to decorate trees, and we want to add a holiday party or gala when COVID-19 challenges are behind us."

According to Demeroto, just a few of the "amazing" artists and businesses participating in the event include Alex Vinash/American Beech, Roric Tobin Designs, Craft Hair, Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., and White Flower Farmhouse, and all "Tasteful Tinsel Design Sponsors were able to choose their unique tree theme. Designers are encouraged to attach gifts to or under the tree to enhance the value."

All trees will be auctioned off to the highest bidder, and the online auction opens on November 22 at givesmart.com and closes on December 7.

Demeroto assured that, "The funds raised will help CAST meet the tremendous need on the North Fork as so many families are struggling due to the continuing health and economic crisis."

"Masks are required and we will adhere to strict social distancing guidelines. Locally baked cookies will be for sale 'to go' as masks must be worn at all times on the property."

For more information, go to castsoutholdtown.org. To purchase tickets, or bid on trees or other auction items, go to givesmart.com.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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