‘Hairy Angels’ take top prize in Saint Vincent Festival of Trees

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"Bark! The Hairy Angels Sing," decorated by Elizabeth "Liz" Gutting and sponsored by Because You Care Inc., was the first-place winner in Saint Vincent Hospital's 2020 Festival of Trees. This year's event featured a drive-through display and a virtual gallery due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The winning tree is called “Bark! The Hairy Angels Sing.” It was sponsored by a supporter of Because You Care Inc. for Saint Vincent Hospital’s 2020 variation of its traditional Festival of Trees fundraiser.

This year was indeed different and a bit challenging for Festival of Trees with the pandemic. Still, the fundraiser’s drive-thru Yuletide display at Fairview Industrial Park was amazing, supplemented by its free Gallery of Trees virtual experience conducted in private homes and businesses.

Christine Bowen, executive director of development at Saint Vincent, and her co-workers did an amazing job of thinking outside the box by having the trees posted online and making it possible for people to vote for their favorite in the safe atmosphere of their own homes.

You’ll want to congratulate first-place winner Elizabeth “Liz” Durkin Gutting, who was voted “bragging rights” winner by online viewers for her fabulous decorating techniques.

The tree featured dogs and cats dressed in festive scarves and hats “performing” their favorite Christmas carols. One of the cats is busy knocking ornaments off the tree and not paying attention to singing – like a typical cat.

"Bark! The Hairy Angels Sing," a 2020 Festival of Trees winner, features not only dogs in festive scarves and hats "performing" Christmas carols but also a mischievous cat.

There are more than 350 ornaments on the tree. Gutting shared her pet theme with dog and cat figurines; musical notes; wooden ornaments engraved with the Because You Care logo made by Lake Erie Variety, a local company that makes laser-engraved wall hangings; and glitter balls with pink cat collars wrapped around them.

“I decoupaged Christmas songs from discarded church hymnals onto large and small Christmas balls,” Gutting said. “There are also plaques I made saying, ‘Sing,’ ‘Bark,’ ‘Howl,’ ‘Purr,’ ‘Meow’, representing the wonderful voices of dogs and cats and their people. There are numerous glitter berry picks on the tree as well.”

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