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Special trees raise funds for injured Marines

CARLSBAD — In the giving spirit of the holiday season, the Four Seasons Resort Aviara is hosting its annual Festival of Trees event to raise money for injured Marines.
The event features 11 professionally decorated Christmas trees that are up for auction. The trees are displayed in the Four Seasons’ lobby, 7100 Four Seasons Point, for guests to wander through and bid on their favorite.
“People have a good time coming to see it,” said Four Seasons Resort Aviara Executive Assistant Leslie Laurer.
The proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, which was founded in 2004 at the Camp Pendleton base in Oceanside. The donations are used to provide financial support to injured and critically ill Marines and their families as they face daily challenges in recovery.
“Because of the war, they just need it so badly,” Laurer said.
With support from local companies that sponsor the display, local Carlsbad designer Ingrid Anderson DeOrlow decorated the trees featured in this year’s event, and has done so for the last three.
While the trees are slightly more traditional than they have been in the past, they go far beyond white lights and standard ball ornaments. Flowers and shells were just some of the extra elements incorporated into the display by DeOrlow.
“She doesn’t have a theme that she sticks with — she just uses her creativity,” Laurer said.
The resort wastes no time in getting the display up for the holiday season. Employees work through the night of Thanksgiving so the trees will greet guests as they venture out on the biggest shopping holiday of the year, Black Friday.
“We love the trees!” said Nancy Anderson, who was staying at the resort with husband Don to celebrate their 31st anniversary. “To help our service, or to help whoever, I think it’s a great idea.”
The Festival of Trees has been going on since the hotel first opened in 1997, said Tony Postillo, the resort’s director of public relations. The event is open to the public and the trees will remain on display until the auction ends on Dec. 29.