Tree auction raises nearly $3,500 for theatre

Doug Loyer Special to the Times Nineteen decorated Christmas trees and wreaths on display for auction at the Peoples Bank Theatre.

The Peoples Bank Theatre held a benefit auction called “Oh, Christmas Tree” to sell nineteen decorated artificial Christmas trees and wreaths that were donated by area businesses and organizations. This is the first time for this event and was able to raise nearly $3,500 for the theatre. Organizers hope to make it an annual event and build on Sunday’s success.

The trees and wreaths were on display in the hallway at the theatre for a week prior to the event to allow the community get in the holiday spirit, view them and consider bidding on them Sunday.

“This event was suggested by Dwight and Vicki Ullman who are volunteers here,” said Hunt Brawley, Executive Director of the Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association. “Proceeds from today’s auction will go towards our theatre restoration effort.”

“We’re really looking forward to the auction and to see what kind of turnout we get,” expressed Drew Tanner, Peoples Bank Theatre Marketing Director.

Tanner said they are grateful to the nineteen businesses and organizations that contributed trees and wreaths. He said there was a real diversity in the groups that have donated. Tanner further explained that the proceeds will help with their educational programs and preservation of the theatre.”

“We definitely wanted to participate,” stated Lori Strahler of McDonalds of Marietta that donated one the decorated Christmas trees. “I knew that Randy was so good at decorating, I just followed his lead.”

I’m excited,” continued Strahler. “I hope we raise a lot of money for the theatre. We’re very proud to be a part of this!”

Randy Fryman created and designed the McDonalds tree. “I love the whole event,” shared Fryman. “This is the first one I’ve done.”

“I wanted to make a McDonald’s tree that was classy, I wanted it to be elegant,” said Fryman. “I had a lot to fun doing it and this event gives me a lot of ideas for next year!”

Fryman’s creation was successful as that tree was the top seller of the day brining in $350.

“This event is beautiful,” added Brian Anderson, also from McDonalds of Marietta. “I’m glad we have something like this in Marietta. This is in the spirit of giving back and benefits the theatre which brings so much to our town.”

Auctioneering services were donated by Dwight Ullman for Sunday’s event.

“We happy to donate our time to help the theatre and community,” expressed Ullman. “There used to be a tree auction in Marietta and I thought that the theatre was a great organization to benefit from an auction like this.”

Also volunteering for the event were some the regular volunteers from the theatre.

“Our volunteers are a huge asset, said Sarah Eells, Volunteer Coordinator. “We are proud of our theatre and our volunteers and are doing what we can to have a great auction.”

Melissa Haessly and her family enjoyed checking out the trees and wreaths with her family. She felt that their favorites were the Charley Brown tree and the McDonalds tree. Haessly thought it was wonderful way to have a fund raiser to get more funds for the theatre.

“It’s exciting to come support this and the theatre,” admitted Susan Vessels of Marietta. “Maybe I’ll end up with a Christmas tree.”

For a listing of upcoming events at the Peoples Bank Theatre, visit

Tree and Wreath contributors:

Marietta Chamber of Commerce

House of Hope

McDonald’s of Marietta

Hot Tomato

Passiflora Studio

Copperleaf Interior Design Studio

Hall Financial

Michele Hupp

Ely Chapman Education Foundation

Peoples Bank

Marietta Dental Work

Tammy Stackpole

Marietta Dance Academy & The Original Pizza Place

The Betsy Mills Club

Wilson’s Heating & Cooling

Peddler of Dreams

The Brawley Family

Teri Ann’s

Marietta College