Gabby makes a cameo at Winterthur, needles a few folks at the Festival of Trees in Dover and brushes up on local artists at the Children’s Beach House in Lewes.
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Pretty Ribbons of Blue
Dover Downs Hotel & Casino was beautifully outfitted in holiday sparkle, thanks to the Delaware Hospice’s annual Festival of Trees, which kicked off with a gala auction and reception on November 27. Christmas trees glowed in every nook and cranny of the generous space Dover Downs allotted. Organizations such as the Delaware Ballet Company, Bayhealth Medical Center, Delaware State University and the senior centers of Kent County decorated trees, which were available for purchase.
Sam Hummel, a Festival of Trees volunteer since 1980-something (Gabby protects the innocent), was the go-to gal for all things decorating. The method to her staging madness? “It’s very simple,” Hummel said. “The secret is electricity. Where there is electricity, there is a tree.” Well done, Sam. The long hallway to the gala room was alive with blinking lights, warm color, interesting Christmas tree decor (margarita glasses and cowboy hats, anyone?) and glittery Christmas cheer. Sam is one of more than 130 volunteers who prepare the Festival of Trees event.
Susan Lloyd, president and CEO of Delaware Hospice, said the festival is a friendraiser more so than a fundraiser. “This is just such a wonderful event,” she said. “It’s nice to start putting people in the holiday spirit. For myself, seeing friends and families of people Delaware Hospice has helped is very special.” Gabby would be remiss to not give kudos to the divine black, skinny dress pants Susan wore, with a gorgeous, twinkling sequined shell top and the most chic of sleek blonde bobs. “All from Lady’s Image,” she said (except the hair). Susan, you looked so radiant Gabby thought about popping you on top of her own Christmas tree.
The Honeycombs took the stage to put their own spin on holiday standards (For the record, those were poinsettias on their shirts; not Hawaiian flowers. Gabby had to ask.) while guests milled around bidding on things like a lap around the Monster Mile.
Gabby dished with woman of the hour Peggy Dolby, assistant director of development on Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione’s Discovery Channel show, “Brew Masters,” about the five very hungry college football players she played host to over Thanksgiving, thanks to her son (“They won’t stop eating!”).
Most evident was Peggy’s love for and dedication to the event. “I’ve already started planning for next year,” she said. “This is a 13-month process. It’s a lot of work. But I absolutely love this event. It’s so heartwarming when people buy a tree, and donate it right back to us. Some of these trees sell three times over because people are so giving.”
Her favorite was the Potpourri Garden Club of Dover’s tree, decorated with maracas and margarita glasses. “The Red Hat ladies are very serious about this,” she said. “They start collecting things for their tree a year in advance.”
Gabby would like to praise her favorite tree, that of the Dover Sprig and Twig Garden Club. A vision in blue and gold ribbons, flowers and delicate bird ornaments, the tree set Gabby’s heart a flutter.
Page 3: Beauty and the Beach