The auctioning Tuesday of 53 decorated trees at the Festival of Trees raised $31,200 for The Shelter Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides emergency services for local youths.
That amount is the second-highest raised by the annual event, in which local individuals, organizations and businesses decorate trees for the sale. Last year's auction brought in $32,380, the most ever, according to Judy Culley, director of The Shelter.
A tree made by Hallmark Cards Inc. employees this year earned the most money, $3,000. Laird Noller purchased the tree, which had "Peace on Earth" as its theme and featured handmade angels portraying the diversity of people.
Another high point of the auction was a tree made by the 16 third-graders who make up Brownie Troop 591. The girls, students at Quail Run and Sunflower schools, decorated a tree called "Winter Wonderland."
The girls made the decorations that included snowflakes, red balls sprinkled with "snow," and Frosty the Snowman. And Emprise Bank, 2435 Iowa, purchased the tree for $1,050.
"It was just a darling tree," said troop leader Cathie Prochaska. ``... To be a part of something that's helping other children is really exciting."
The troop, in its third year, annually does service projects that benefit other children. And next year, they'll do another tree for the festival, she said.
"We'll just have to start now thinking of how we can make it as appealing as it was this year," she added.
Ultimately, Culley said, the eighth annual festival will raise more than the amount from the auction because admission is charged to view the trees at Liberty Hall, 642 Mass. The trees will be on display until 8:30 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.