Festival of Trees 2018 winners


The 2018 Festival of Trees, which took place Nov. 21-28, attracted 22,459 visitors to downtown Fort Wayne. Lobbies of the Embassy Theatre and Indiana Hotel were transformed into a wonderland of Christmas trees under the theme of “White Christmas.” The annual fundraiser and community event featured a record 65 uniquely decorated Christmas trees.

Embassy staff tallied patrons’ votes for favorite trees to determine the following People’s Choice Award winners:

  • First Place People’s Choice – It’s A White Christmas on Sesame Street, sponsored by PBS39, decorated by Lisa Rysiawa, Jodi Hamilton, Melissa Meadors
  • Second Place People’s Choice – To Grandmother’s House We Go, sponsored by Meijer Stores Inc., decorated by The Meijer Team
  • Third Place People’s Choice – We Wish Who A Merry Christmas, sponsored by Roto-Rooter Plumbers, decorated by Sherry Elward, John Elward, Jolene Evans, Stephanie Schoenherr, Deb Cottrell

Festival of Trees raffle winners were:

  • Wells Fargo Money tree (cash) – Molly McIntire, Decatur
  • Jefferson Pointe tree (gift certificates) – Ron Hubbard, Fort Wayne
  • TinCaps baseball tree (season tickets) – Kristine Richardson, Fort Wayne
  • Swan Lake tree (show tickets) – Mark Troyer, Fort Wayne
  • Broadway tree (show tickets) – Dan Smith, Fort Wayne
  • Peg Perego tree (children’s toys) – Kelly Skeel, Fort Wayne
  • Komets tree (game tickets) – Tessa Dutton, Fort Wayne
  • Vera Bradley (gift set) – Kendall Laven, Flossmoor, Ill.

The 2018 tree decorator awards were announced at the Nov. 20 sponsors’ preview night.

  • First Place – We Wish Who A Merry Grinchmas, sponsored by Roto-Rooter Plumbers and decorated by Sherry Elward, John Elward, Jolene Evans, Stephanie Schoenherr, Deb Cottrell.
  • Second Place – (Gnome) Home for the Holidays, sponsored by Ruoff Home Mortgage and decorated by Ruoff Home Mortgage.
  • Third Place – White Christmas: The Blizzard of ’78, sponsored by Fort Wayne Newspapers and decorated by Dinah Gibson, Aja Michael-Keller.

Judges for the decorator awards were John O’Connell, Purdue Fort Wayne; Julie Wall, the HEDGE; Maddie Miller, Artlink.

Founded in 1984, the Festival of Trees supports ongoing operational and restoration efforts for the Embassy Theatre Foundation. The festival is the organization’s largest annual fundraising event.


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