The Milford Public Library is preparing for their annual Christmas Tree Extravaganza that will take place during the month of December. This year, the fundraiser will allow the library, with the help of the community, to make a monetary donation to one local family in need this holiday season. The Christmas Tree Extravaganza has been a tradition at the Milford Public Library since Director Kay Hudson started at the library fifteen years ago.
“This has always been a way that the library can further its commitment to reaching out to our community,” said Hudson. “The biggest gratification is when we enable families to have a more meaningful Christmas”
Ms. Hudson invites local organizations to participate again this year by decorating a Christmas tree that will be displayed in the main room of the library. After the trees are up, the community will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite tree with a monetary donation of one dollar. Through past donations, the Christmas Tree Extravaganza raised $1,700 for two local women fighting cancer in 2012 and the event raised $1,000 for the family of a child that was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2011. By decorating a tree, local organizations will help to support this year’s recipient Alyssa Wolfe, a four-year-old girl who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy earlier this year.
In 2011, twins, Alyssa and Zachary were welcomed to Sarah and Mark and their 7 year old sister, Madison. Their entrance to this world was not easy. Around five to six months of age, Alyssa got very sick and was hospitalized over 20 days. During her stay a MRI was performed and revealed that she had suffered two hemorrhages in her brain. Shortly thereafter Zachary had MRI and a mass in grey matter of brain was found. At four years old now, Alyssa is diagnosed with cerebral palsy and Zachary has recently had seizure activity but has overcome delays in occupational and physical therapy. Alyssa receives occupational, physical and speech therapy three times per week.
Alyssa has little trunk control and cannot stand or walk independently and she is on a feeding tube to meet her nutritional needs, as well. For the oldest sibling and their parents these twins have brought multiple changes and difficulties due to their care and needs. Although the children have health insurance, it is very difficult to obtain equipment as it takes months of waiting and fighting with insurance companies. It is very important, as it is to any parent, to give their disabled child every opportunity they deserve to bring them to their fullest potential of self. In the last couple of years Alyssa has worked with a company called Enliten that has created a specialized harness system for the disabled. She stood independently for the first time in this system and took her first steps this year.
“We have desperately been trying to obtain it for her. It’s portable and could go to school with her … or anywhere she is for extended period of time,” said Alyssa’s mother Sarah Wyshock Wolfe. “It also will support her weight for years and years to come. Any assistance with this expense we would truly appreciate.” The harness system and the quote to obtain it is estimated at $3,570.
Organizations participating in the Christmas Tree Extravaganza will be responsible for providing the tree, decorations and lights. The floor of the library will be marked with masking tape for the placement of the trees. The library asks that each organization create a sign with the name of the organization or business to identify the tree. Trees can be set up for display between now and 28 December 3 and will be on display through Christmas, with a winner being chosen on Tuesday, December 22. Once the trees are up, the community will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite tree with a monetary donation of one dollar.
“In a small town you can really feel the connection of the community with the family,” said librarian Carolyn Tabor. “The American Association of Libraries strives to help all libraries be the heart of their community and this event helps us continue that commitment.”
To help celebrate the season with the Milford Public Library and reserve a space for a Christmas tree, businesses and organizations can contact the Milford Public Library at 302-422-8996. Any questions or comments can be directed to Carolyn Tabor. The Christmas Tree Extravaganza will be on display during the annual downtown Holiday Stroll on Friday, December 4.