It’s the most wonderful time of the year again. And that means decorating. Whether you’re someone who revels in taping up tinsel and dusting off those old nutcrackers, or a reluctant tree trimmer, holiday decorations are a must for anyone who doesn’t wish to be labeled a Scrooge.
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That’s why Boardwalk Hall has decided, for the third year in a row, to lessen their decorating duty while also spreading a little goodwill. Their “Deck the Hall — Festival of Trees” event invites local business, organizations, arena partners and individuals to sponsor a small tree that they can decorate however they choose, to be displayed in Boardwalk Hall’s lobby. The money raised goes to the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, which supports neglected and abused children.
Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, the provider of venue management, food services and hospitality for Boardwalk Hall since 2014, spearheaded this cheerful charity after finding it successful in another location.
“Our company manages over 100 facilities throughout the U.S. and the world. We did something similar to this in another facility about two years ago and an event manager brought the idea here,” says General Manager of Boardwalk Hall Fran Rodowicz. “We came up with the ‘Deck the Hall’ theme because it worked well with the name Boardwalk Hall. We always try to involve ourselves with any community we go into.”
Beneficial to both CASA and local businesses, “Deck the Hall” allows those who donate to work their creative muscles while decorating a tree in their business’ likeness.
“For example, we work with unions like the plumbers union and the carpenters union,” Rodowicz explains. “For the plumbers union, they had a plunger at the top as the star. The carpenters had little work benches to decorate their tree. So they get into it. It definitely encourages their creativity.”
So far, Boardwalk Hall has secured over 25 donors to help deck their halls, all of whom will be invited to a private reception at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, where the trees will be on display in all their glory.
“There’s drinks available, we have some entertainment. It’s basically a platform to raise awareness for CASA, the charity of our choice this year, and basically explain their mission,” Rodowicz says. “We also just want to bring everyone together who donated to kick off the holiday season.”
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How you can see the trees?
While the viewing reception is invite-only, there are a ton of opportunities to judge for yourself which business is the best tree decorator.
Enjoy a pipe organ concert. Boardwalk Hall has the world’s largest operational pipe organ, and they love to show it off. Every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Steven Ball, Boardwalk Hall’s resident organist, puts on mini-concerts that are free and open to the public. Reservations are not necessary, and you can take a look at the trees as you pass through the lobby.
Get cultured at a silent film. Boardwalk Hall’s 2016 film series is wrapping up 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, with a double-feature of Thomas Edison’s “A Christmas Carol” and Laurel and Hardy’s “Big Business.” The two silent films will be followed up by a Christmas carol sing-along. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com.
Cheer up at a holiday movie. For movies with a little more — well — sound, head to Boardwalk Hall’s showings of “The Polar Express” or “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.” While the schedule is still tentative, doors are set to open at noon Saturday, Dec. 17, with the movies starting at 1 p.m. Santa may make an appearance from noon to 2 p.m., as well. Tickets are free, but reservations are required and can be made through Ticketmaster.