Smithfield’s wreath raffle benefits Monroe Historical Association

For the
Pocono Record

Fifty people gathered in the Smithfield Township Municipal Center on Dec. 17 for a festive Silent Auction Wreath Raffle to benefit the Monroe County Historical Association.

Infusing the air with the scent of fresh evergreens, more than 30 wreaths — trimmed with everything from ribbons and pinecones to holly boughs and mountain laurel — along with other holiday décor adorned the walls.

Traditional Christmas music resonated as many sang along to the sounds of the Pocono Dulcimer Club. All got a taste of Christmas, too, from a table or cookies, cakes and other tasty treats provided by the MCHA.

The $548 proceeds from the wreaths, which has been on display through Decemer, will help offset a sharp decrease in MCHA's funding.

"Jackie (Ocker, township secretary) knew we had our funding cut and she contacted us and suggested a holiday wreath raffle," said Halle Smith, museum assistant at Monroe County Historical Association.

"They lost an annual $10,000 state grant through the Pennsylvania Museum and Historical Commission when funding was cut," said Ocker.

"Thankfully, the Monroe County commissioners matched that and, to the best of my knowledge, will continue to. They need the help. (MCHA and I) have done a lot of things together over the years, so we just sat down and put our heads together. Many years ago, they did an auction and holiday concert, so we resurrected it. The supervisors wanted people to come and enjoy this building."

Scott Kramer of Pocono Farm Stand and Nursery donated a dozen evergreen wreaths. Girl Scout Troop 548 cadettes made six grapevine wreaths for the benefit, which included seasonal décor and ones embellished with sand dollars and shells.

A Monroe County 175th anniversary quilted wreath, created by Lynn Burgoon, was donated by Mr. and Mrs. William Burgoon, while 8-year-old Travis Wolfe contributed a unique log cabin-style wreath with the theme "Born to Fish.'

An MCHA Family Wreath featured ornaments of the Driebe Station and the Bell School and came with a year's membership to MCHA. A Fred Waring Record Clock from township Supervisor Christine Griffin, Quiet Valley Farm ornaments from Mark Lichty, and a wreath and two Christmas wall plaques from Smithfield were added offerings.

The many other generous wreath donors included Village Farmer, Joan Groff, Judy Moeller, Dale Kirk, Sharon Gerberich, Jayne and Russ Albert, Lois Turr, Cheeky Monkey Coffee House, Regina Farms, Brian and Pam Barrett, Boucher & James, Fred Shoemaker, Shawnee Mountain Ski Area, David and Andrea Rimberg and Jennifer Seldy.

With an annual operating budget of $120,000, "we're pretty much bare bones as it is," said Amy Leiser, MCHA's director. "We'll just be very cautious next year. Every little fundraising event helps."

Two upcoming fundraising events will happen early in 2011: the annual MCHA Dinner and Silent Auction in February, and the Victorian Tea in the spring open to the public.

For details, call 570-421-7703 or visit