Next year’s Festival of Trees’s theme will be a “Great Gatsby” Gala 

Photo courtesy Kry Mandilag Photography
Upon entering the Granada Hotel, guests were greeted by a woman handing out Champagne.


By Jessica Ewing

Jessica Ewing

More than 280 guests enjoyed a night of festivities and philanthropy at Rebekah Children’s Services 17th Annual Festival of Trees gala hosted at the luxurious Granada Theater Nov. 16. The masquerade theme created an atmosphere of mystery as patrons filed into the theater wearing masks to receive their bidding numbers for the auction. Everyone was greeted by a woman wearing a skirt of Champagne flutes to kick-off the evening. Walking into the ballroom, I was awestruck at the beauty of the room. Women on stilts wearing long, satin gold dresses held giant fans above their heads and everyone stopped to take photos with them. On either side of the room, performers dressed in dazzling gold jumpsuits spun around on aerial hoops beside the stage.

Before sitting down, we made our way to the silent auction and raffle section. Prizes at the silent auction included a group paint night with Nacho Moya, dinner for 10 at the Granada Theatre, and an adventure touring the Bay Area. The raffle options included gift baskets stocked with candles, fuzzy warm blankets and holiday snacks. I had my eyes set on the four box seat tickets to a Giant’s game, though.

Finally, we walked over to take a look at the Christmas trees displayed at the back of the room. My favorite was a tree titled “Winter Wonderland” sponsored by Carolyn Jones, Stephanie Vegh, and OrangeTheory staff and members. The tree was frosted white with crystalline ornaments and topped with a lighted angel. The entire tree would be raffled off with prizes boasting a five-night stay in a Tahoe vacation home, a home furnace with installation included, many gift cards, classes at OrangeTheory Fitness, a holiday family photo session, and more. Every tree promised a different experience to be had by the winning bidder.

The announcer took the stage to let us know dinner would be served, so we made our way to our seats. As dinner was laid out before us, a woman came onto the stage in a shimmering silver gown and began to play Timbaland’s “Apologize” on violin. She went on to play more pop songs such as Katy Perry’s “Firework” and Beyonce’s “Halo.” Next, a pair of contortionists sashayed onto the stage and captivated the audience with the way they were able to bend themselves and maintain form up on a raised surface, all while the violinist continued to play. The world-renowned contortionists hail from Cirque Du Soleil’s wondrous shows “O” and “Zumanity.” After dinner, the auctioning of the trees began and people were eager to donate to a good cause while experiencing the night of a lifetime.

The evening was a huge success as Rebekah Children’s Services raised more than $170,000 to continue to do the important work of seeing “our community flourish by building pathways to hope, happiness, and well-being,” said Claudia Sandoval, director of fund development and community relations. “Rebekah Children’s Services expresses their sincerest gratitude to everyone who attended, sponsored, volunteered and supported our 17th Annual Festival of Trees “Masquerade” Gala.

They will celebrate next year’s 18th Annual Festival of Trees “Great Gatsby” Gala — The Roaring 2020’s, Nov. 21, 2020, at the Granada Theatre. Guests will journey back in time for a lively and glamorous evening that is sure to be a night to remember. For sponsorship opportunities and questions, contact Claudia Sandoval at (408) 846-2191.

Jessica Ewing is the marketing director for Gilroy Life.

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