Gala preview to kick off annual Festival of Trees

The holiday season will officially arrive at the 25th annual Festival of Trees, a benefit for Children’s Hos-pital of Michigan, to be held Nov. 22 though 29 at the Allen Park Municipal Auditorium, with a gala preview party kick-off from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday.

The party, black tie optional, will feature a stroll-ing supper, silent auction, gift shop, gingerbread house display, entertainment by Cancel Monday, a raffle and the opportunity to preview and purchase professionally designed holiday trees and other holi-day items.

The auction will include a wide selection of prizes ranging from airline tickets for two to any destination in the continental United States to sports packages and jewelry.

In addition, the Isle of Wreaths will return, said Theresa Diefenbach, Festival of Trees director and event coordinator, adding that for the first time, a dance party is planned for 8 p.m. to midnight Nov. 28.

Preview tickets $75, adults, and $25, children, are available online at www.fot.org, or by calling (248) 336-2331.

Dance party tickets, $15, will include light appe-tizers, a cash bar, an auction, and music by a disc jockey. Tickets for the dance are available on the website and will be sold at the door.

Festival hours are as follows: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 22, 27 and 28; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 23, 24 and 25; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 29. The festival will be closed on Thanksgiving.

On Nov. 22, Radio Disney will present a show from noon to 2 p.m. In addition, children will make a Christmas tree ornament and participate in a game show offering prizes.

Festival admission will cost $5, adults, and $3, children (under 2 free). Tickets will be sold at the door. The Community Center is at 16850 Southfield Road.

Chocolate Jubilee slated for Nov.22
Attention, chocoholics! The 25th annual opportu-nity to indulge, or overindulge in the addictive sweet — the Alzheimer Association’s Chocolate Jubilee — will take place Nov. 22 at the Ritz-Carlton, Dearborn.

The 25th anniversary event will begin with a noon luncheon featuring keynote speakers Mary Ellen Geist, author and award-winning journalist, and Harry Johns, president and CEO of the National Alzheimer’s Association.

A tasting of chocolate specialties from 25 choco-late shops and bakeries will follow from 2 to 4 p.m.

Geist, who grew up the Detroit metropolitan area, is the author of “Measure of the Heart: A Father’s Alz-heimer’s, A daughter’s Return.” The book tells the story of her career as a broadcast journalist and her return to Michigan from positions in Los Angeles and New York to help care for her father after he was di-agnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

She was the recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for best newscast and investigative reporting and the Associated Press awards for best newscast, live coverage, investigative reporting and Reporter of the Year.

Tickets for the luncheon and tasting are $150 per person; for the Jubilee only, $50. Reservations are being accepted at (248) 996-1048.

Proceeds will fund programs and services to help the more than 70,000 Michigan families affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

Special parade seating offered
Special grandstand seating is available for the 83rd America’s Thanksgiving Parade, which will step off at 9:20 a.m. Nov. 26 at Woodward and Mack ave-nues and continue with 60 units for 1.5 miles to Woodward and Congress in downtown Detroit.

Tickets range in price from $20 to $40, the latter including breakfast at the Hard Rock Café or Cheli’s Chili from 7 to 9 a.m. For tickets or more information, visit The Parade Company at www.theparade.org

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