Need a tree? Head to Little Compton Sunday

Posted 11/29/23

Over the past 30 years, some 1,700 donated and fully decorated Christmas trees have found their way out in the community, brightening homes while doing good for many causes near and dear to Little …

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Need a tree? Head to Little Compton Sunday

Posted

Over the past 30 years, some 1,700 donated and fully decorated Christmas trees have found their way out in the community, brightening homes while doing good for many causes near and dear to Little Comptonites. It all starts again this Sunday.

Little Compton holds its 30th annual Ben and Chet Wilkie Memorial Tree Spree this Sunday, Dec. 3, and anyone looking for a unique Christmas tree complete with all the fixings can buy a ticket and take their chances. It runs from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Wilbur McMahon gymnasium.

The tree spree began in 1994 when organizer Caroline Wordell lost her brother Ben. In the midst of her grief, she decided to found a scholarship in his name, raising funds in several different ways before settling on the Tree Spree. When she lost her other brother Chet in 2017, she renamed the annual fund-raiser in both brothers’ honor.

As for the tree spree, Wordell can’t remember the source of the idea, which is lost to time — “but it grew by leaps and bounds,” she said.

This year, visitors can expect 60 or more fully decorated trees on display, all of which will be raffled to benefit local student scholarships and this year, Socks For Soldiers.

The concept is simple — attendees purchase tickets at the event, then look at the offerings, dropping tickets in bags next to whatever tree they want. Winners are drawn at the end of the evening.

The event hasn’t always been easy to pull off. Early season snow storms have complicated the affair a few times, and it was difficult holding the event during the pandemic, though organizers were able to pull it off with online auctions.

This year, Wordell is expecting a great year, and said she’s amazed to see how far her fund-raiser has come.

“We have surmounted every obstacle cast in our way, and we are so proud to present our 30th Tree Spree with a profound sense of gratitude to donors and those who attend.”

That’s not all

The Tree Spree isn’t the only holiday event going on at the Common Sunday.

While the spree runs from 1 to 7 p.m., the town’s annual tree lighting (with caroling) starts at 5 p.m. at Pike’s Peak, and there will be a marketplace on the commons. Kids and parents take note — Santa arrives at 6 p.m.

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