Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Tree represents us

To the editor:

South Whidbey Garden Club is sponsoring and decorating a beautiful tree for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County’s Festival of Trees. Decorated by local groups, the trees will be auctioned off on Dec. 5 to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters and its mission to match children with mentors from the community.

South Whidbey Garden Club (SWGC) has contributed a tree every year. We are especially excited about this year’s entry, called “A Whidbey Island Holiday Tour.”

The first reason we are so excited is because the tree represents Whidbey Island. In fact, the tree is the island. The second reason is because so many people have donated beautiful items and works of art that show why our island and the people who live here are so special. SWGC would like to recognize these generous, local contributors and express our thanks.

The story of our tree began last January when Midge Billig, a garden club member, donated her collection of beautiful Whidbey Island ornaments that feature scenes of landmarks from Clinton to Oak Harbor. From there, the theme of the tree developed with more than 100 photographs highlighting Whidbey Island.

These photos, many of which were already beautiful note cards, were donated by the following local photographers: David Welton, Russell Sparkman, Veronica vonAllworden, Ron Roesler, Dan Karvasek, Todd Martin and Kelly Kellog.

To add to the “island” tree theme, a club member’s husband, Peter Van Giesen, built a two-foot ferry including vehicles that represent various local businesses and services. Another member’s husband, Bob Howie, hand- carved a seagull perched on top of driftwood pilings. Bev Durocher-Smith, an artist and garden club member, painted it. Both items will be at the base of the tree along with a lighthouse, donated by club member JoAnn Mathison, as the tree topper.

To complete the tree, we’ve added large starfish ornaments, white sparkly fishnet and lots of shiny, glitzy white ornaments.

If you are interested in viewing our tree, as well as other decorated trees and wreaths, the Useless Bay Golf & County Club welcomes the public between 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5. The auction is held the same night with all proceeds going to Island County Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Thanks again to everyone who helped turn a tree into our beautiful Whidbey Island.

Christine Johnson


South Whidbey Garden Club

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