You might not think that the beginning of November is too early for holiday music, but is setting up the Christmas tree that early a little too soon? One Western New York couple thinks it's never too early to deck the halls if it's for a good cause.
What is that "good cause?" Fundraising for Roswell Park Comprehensive Care Center.
Lisa and Patrick McPartland of Kenmore have had their Christmas tree set up since Nov. 1, and they are inviting community members to help "Untrim the Tree," with proceeds helping families of those receiving treatment at Roswell Park through the holidays and serving as the startup for the McPartland family’s 2023 “Ride for Roswell.”
Funds are being raised through community members giving donations in exchange for the more than 250 ornaments right off the McPartlands’ All-WNY Christmas Tree. The ornaments represent Buffalo and the surrounding communities. The food, the people, the places – even the weather. All eight counties of Western New York are represented, and most of the ornaments are either laminated photos taken by the McPartlands or pieces handmade by Lisa McPartland. Donation requests range from $5 to $25.
Each ornament also includes at least one ticket for the “Gift under the Tree” raffle, which includes a prize pack with items valued at more than $250. Like the ornaments, all the treasures inside the gift are WNY-themed, including a pair of 200-level tickets to a 2023 Buffalo Bandits game. The “Gift under the Tree” drawing will be Dec. 12, so ornaments must be claimed and paid for by Dec. 11. Shipping will be free – the McPartlands are donating postage in lieu of sending Christmas cards.
“Roswell Park took wonderful care of my husband when he required surgery in 2019, and the staff there continues to be wonderful as my husband receives his monthly maintenance treatments,” Lisa McPartland said. “Roswell also continues to assist family, friends and co-workers who have been affected by cancer. You just have to give back.”
McPartland said she decided to do a Western New York tree in 2021 to remember her father and to celebrate the liveliness of Western New York before the coronavirus pandemic began. This year, she decided to turn the idea into a fundraiser. The tree skirt, which is the only item not up for grabs, is a Buffalo Sabres Snuggie that belonged to her father, who passed away the day after Thanksgiving in 2017.
"The idea originated partially out of silliness and partially out of a desire to showcase what our area has to offer," she said. "To me, it was a reminder of what we could look forward to post-pandemic. It also seemed natural to fill the tree with WNY items after placing my father’s Sabres Snuggie under the tree."
The McPartlands spent a lot of time traveling around Western New York photographing subjects for the ornaments.
“This certainly helped us to make up for all the activities we missed due to the pandemic,” Lisa McPartland said. She noted grabbing one of these ornaments is a great way to find a reasonably priced present while helping others. "You can shop early, find unique or gag gifts for your loved ones and help a great organization.”
To view photographs of the All-WNY Christmas Tree and individual ornaments that could be yours should you help “Untrim the Tree,” visit All-WNY Christmas Tree on Facebook. There, one will find information on how to claim an ornament, as well as a link to a Google Sheets document that includes descriptions of the ornaments, histories of the subjects, requested donations, how many raffle tickets accompany each ornament and whether an ornament already has been claimed. The Facebook page also includes a link to a Google photo album where high-resolution images of each ornament are stored. Ornaments will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For more information about payment method and procedures, visit the Facebook page or email [email protected].
√ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100087565683973
√ Database of ornaments: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1L0U4oXBxfg6WQ7dPOra78gNTfR-h-WKZ_X0VkVT53CE/edit?usp=sharing