Festival of Trees decorators work with a purpose

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Holiday spirit filled the air at the Salmon Run Mall Wednesday morning, as preparations began for the North Country Festival of Trees.

Ninety trees are to be decorated this year by various organizations, businesses and members of the public who signed up. The trees will be sold through an auction that runs from Nov. 25 to Dec. 3. Free public tree viewing is also available throughout this time frame.

All the proceeds are to benefit Samaritan Medical Center Foundation of Northern New York and the Watertown Family YMCA. The volunteers were allowed to decorate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

Like elves at the North Pole, they were busy putting up colorful lights, wrapping garland and ribbon, hanging every kind of ornament imaginable — and working their way onto Santa’s nice list.

High on that list is a group of three women from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who were decorating a tree that belonged to their friend and fellow churchgoer Melinda Worthington, who they said died last week after battling illness.

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