Festival of Trees opens festive season

It may have been only a couple of days into the month of November, but there was a definite air of Christmas about the Arts & Recreation Centre at Camana Bay on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 2. The Central Caribbean Marine Institute held its Festival of Trees event, its biggest fundraiser for the year. 

Attendees were treated to an evening of dishes created by Camana Bay’s leading restaurants, a short film by renowned underwater cameraman Frans De Backer, a silent auction, and finally, a live auction of trees. 

This year, the institute decided to add a twist to the evening. In the past, all the trees for auction have been artificial Christmas trees, but this time the organizers wanted the focus to be a more environmental one. They therefore chose live trees and a variety of prizes for patrons to bid upon. Trees included a Desert Rose, a Norfolk Pine and a Black Olive. 

There were some excellent packages up for grabs, such as the Rock Gorgeous tree that featured products and treatments, and the Abacus, Karoo and Deckers tree, complete with magnums of top shelf liquor. 

Kate Pellow, director of development and communication, remarked that she was happy with the night and the response to the live trees. 

“This year’s Festival of Trees had an emphasis on sustainability, supported by an inspiring video produced by Frans De Backer,” Pellow said. “The auction was a lively affair, securing another wonderful event.” 

“This was the 9th Festival of Trees, and CCMI continues to be overwhelmed by the support of the sponsors, volunteers and attendees that ensure the success of this critical fundraiser.” 


From left, Paul Drake, Molly Dalby and Michael Joseph get into the spirit. – Photos: Vicki Wheaton


From left, Theo Bullmore, Peter Dutton and Simon Whicker certainly dressed up for the event.


Auctioneer Peter Hillenbrand describes the next item up for bids to his audience.