Holiday trees are displayed in the Hazel Park District Library. Visitors can place bids in a silent auction benefiting after-school programs in Hazel Park Public Schools.

Holiday trees are displayed in the Hazel Park District Library. Visitors can place bids in a silent auction benefiting after-school programs in Hazel Park Public Schools.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Hazel Park District Library hosts silent auction for Christmas trees

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published November 6, 2017

 The final bids will be accepted at the Hazel park tree Lighting Nov. 21.

The final bids will be accepted at the Hazel park tree Lighting Nov. 21.

Photo by Deb Jacques

 The trees were each decorated by a different group in the city. Among the participants were schools, businesses, charities, clubs and more.

The trees were each decorated by a different group in the city. Among the participants were schools, businesses, charities, clubs and more.

Photo by Deb Jacques

HAZEL PARK — A silent auction now underway at the Hazel Park District Library features nearly 30 Christmas trees that have been decorated by local schools, businesses, charities, clubs and others. Visitors can see them in person and privately place their bids at the information desk.  

The auction is an initiative by the Community Engagement Team for Hazel Park Public Schools that will help fund after-school programs in the district. The silent auction started Oct. 23 and will continue until Nov. 21, at which point the trees will be relocated to Hazel Park Viking Ice Arena for the city’s tree lighting ceremony and final bids. 

The trees range in theming. There’s a tree full of Santa Claus imagery, a tree inspired by Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” a tree filled with musical instruments, a tree dedicated to Hazel Park K-9 officer Lando, and a tree for cat lovers that looks like it’s already been attacked by a mischievous kitty. This is just a sample of the creativity on display. 

The trees are artificial and stand 3 feet tall. The bidding starts at $30, and the trees range in value from $40 to one decorated with Frankenmuth Christmas ornaments totaling $250. 

The tree lighting itself will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21. There will be free skating in the Viking Ice Arena, as well as caroling, hot cocoa, and an appearance by Santa Claus in a fire truck. Hazel Park Creative Arts will also be there, providing a kids craft and helping with final bids on the holiday trees. 

“I think this is a great way to raise monies for the after-school program in the schools,” said Lisa Chrouch-Johnson, community representative for the district. “It’s also a great way to get people into the library to see what wonderful programs they offer our residents and students. Please come out and bid.” 

A similar fundraiser was done back in 2003 with the Friends of the Library. At a meeting for the Community Engagement Team, members were talking about how to raise money for after-school programs when the idea came up. The library has long been a reliable ally of the district and agreed to host this latest effort as well. 

The Community Engagement Team is also working with the PTA Council on a Santa Breakfast and Vendor Craft Show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 2 at Hazel Park High School, 23400 Hughes Ave. The event is free to attend. And for $5, you can get a pancake breakfast and enjoy kids crafts, STEAM activities, cookie decorating and pictures with Santa. Vendor tables are available for $10 each. All proceeds go toward after-school programs. 

And from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 10 at Hazel Park Junior High, 22770 Highland Ave., the Community Engagement Team will present a Senior Holiday Concert with caroling and performances by the dance team. There will also be cookies, tea and coffee. This is another free event, and Hazel Park Recreation’s SMART bus will provide transportation for seniors to and from local living facilities. 

Amy Kruppe, superintendent of Hazel Park Public Schools, said she hopes many people will participate in the holiday tree fundraiser.

“This is a heartwarming program that’s perfect for this time of year,” Kruppe said. “Hazel Park has such a warm spirit of giving to others, between the community basket programs and the simple way it always steps up for anyone in need. The holiday trees are simply another way to raise money for student after-school programs. We wanted to come up with a way to display art in the city, and the group felt this is a way that the community has used to raise money before that has been successful. The trees are beautiful and have something for everyone.”

The Community Engagement Team meets every third Tuesday at the Ford Building, 1620 E. Elza Ave., from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., and all are welcome to attend. Representatives from many other nonprofits in the area attend, which makes the Community Engagement Team a great way to get a “big picture” view of the good work being done in the city. 

“It’s a great networking opportunity,” Chrouch-Johnson said. “Hazel Park has such wonderful, hardworking volunteers that make such a difference in our city and our schools.”

For more information on the Community Engagement Team or the holiday tree fundraiser, call (248) 658-5209 or email lisa.chrouch-johnson@hazelpark
schools.org.