WHITMAN — Past experiences with storms during the annual DFS Decorating for Scholars event at Whitman Park have led organizers to ask the Select Board to approve a change this year.
Organizer Michelle LaMattina sought permission from the board to use Town Hall Auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 10 for an afternoon vendor affair to coincide with events surrounding the tree lighting ceremony in the evening.
Select Board voted to approve both the event itself and use of the auditorium, with interim Town Administrator Frank Lynam pledging to get back to LaMattina the next day to confirm the facility’s availability.
Food trucks and performers will also be included in the event. LaMattina said any performers with links to WHRHS are especially welcome. A “special guest” is also slated to make an appearance. This year’s dates are Friday through Sunday, Dec. 9 to 11.
“We try to make it bigger every year to try to raise a little bit more money every year,” she said. “It’s just a good thing for the community.”
Last year, more than $10,000 was raised at the event. LaMattina has also spoken with the Boy Scouts, who want to help out a little more this year, as well as a few other groups.
Weather postponed last year’s vendor event on the Saturday of the three-day festival.
“The year before we had issues with the weather, also,” she said. “Obviously, one of these years were going to get hit with a blizzard.”
Feedback to DFS indicated a lot more people wanted to be vendors and participate in the event the Saturday last year’s storm hit, but they didn’t want to be outside in the cold all day.
Use of the auditorium would permit the organization to have some vendors inside and others outside. Student volunteers work the event as part of the volunteer hours requirement for the scholarship program.
There will also be adult volunteers on duty.
LaMattina was also asking that no charge be asked for use of the auditorium because all the money raised goes directly to scholarships.
DFS has held a tree lighting event in the park for the last two years.
“It’s one of our larger fundraisers of the year,” she said. “The only issue we’ve had is last year somebody stole a tree on us, but, other than that, people love it.”