BRUNSWICK — Less than a week after making the difficult decision to postpone this year’s Midcoast Tree Festival in Brunswick because of the pandemic, organizers have come up with a creative way to bring holiday joy to the community while raising money for All Saints Parish (St. John’s School), Spectrum Generations’ Meals on Wheels program, and the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber.
The Midcoast Tree Auction will be held online from Friday, Dec. 4, to Saturday, Dec. 12. The auction will feature up to 70 lots in three categories: deluxe tree items, classic tree items, and wreaths.
“It was wild how quickly it all came together,” said Cory King, executive director of the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber, according to a news release from Dave Guthro, communications director, Roman Catholic Diosese of Portland. “We had just announced the postponement and were in a festival committee meeting when one committee member came up with the online auction idea. Over the next 24 hours, we reached out to our tree festival businesses asking if they’d donate their items to this new event. Those that hadn’t already donated their items to other causes said yes.”
The Midcoast Tree Auction will have auction lots to fit all budgets with an opening bid of approximately 40% of the value for each item.
“By all means, any winner of an auction lot may keep all items in their lot, naturally, but if they want to donate some of the items to a local organization, a school, or specific individuals in the community, we will coordinate delivery of those donated items,” said King. “A suggested list of organizations that gifts, gift cards, and presents could be donated too will be created and posted.”
The auction link will be available in the coming days at facebook.com/midcoasttreefestival. Items will be added to the auction as they are received. Businesses or individuals interested in donating items should contact King at 207-725-8797 or [email protected]. A donation form is also available on the SMMC website at midcoastmaine.com.
For those interested in donating, the committee had a piece of advice.
“Get creative with your ideas, and think about the items you would want to bid on,” said King. “Gift cards make a great date night and support local businesses, but don’t forget about other experiences too. A unique experience can be a forever memory like learning how to cook a dish, a virtual wine tasting, tickets to a 2021 event, a guided excursion, all of these things have great value.”
Donors are encouraged to provide gifts from their own business or highlight some of the local businesses they love by buying gift cards and gifts from them and donating those to the auction. All donors will be recognized or have the option to remain anonymous.