A day after the NYC Rockefeller Tree lit up for the season, the famous Marist tree illuminated its red and white lights for the 15th time. Starting on Thursday, Dec. 1, the Red Fox community can capture its standard holiday Instagram among the almost 50,000 lights that brighten our campus each winter.

“We’ve received so much praise from around the Hudson Valley community for the tree, even from people with no ties to the college,” Ralph Short, the Head of Grounds at Marist for 31 years, tells Andrew Auger of Red Fox Report.

unnamed-1The men behind decorating the tree, Timoteo Perez and Aurelio Tapia, tell Marist Stories that it takes at least two weeks to light, weather permitting. Red Fox Report states that Perez and Tapia have worked on the tree together for the past seven years. They began their work on Oct. 20th of this year, decorating from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the intended deadline of one month following. Last year the pair used 569 rolls of lights to wrap each individual branch, a number that increases every year as the tree grows.

Elsewhere on campus, giving trees stand bare as generous students, professors and faculty have selected which gifts to give. Campus Ministry works with social service agencies throughout Dutchess County to identify families’ needs and children’s wishes, which are listed on paper ornaments. Eight trees stand across campus, the newest addition stationed in the recently constructed science and allied health building.

unnamed-3“On the first day within three hours, all but eight ornaments were left on the tree in the Champ Breezeway,” says Campus Ministry member Thomas Villafane.

Last year, 966 gifts were collected to help make the holiday season more joyful for 30 families, including 122 children. This year, Campus Ministry is assisting seven agencies, a total of 30 families and 128 children. 1,115 gifts have been requested, including 21 bicycles and three scooters.

“Sports teams and organizations on campus are handling the more expensive presents,” says Villafane. “Almost every ornament has been claimed.”

Campus Ministry haunnamed-2s donated approximately 17,291 gifts since the Giving Tree Project began in 1994. The Giving Tree Mass will be held on Sunday, December 11, at 7 p.m.

Various other fundraisers are currently in the works, including a campus-wide coat drive, a clothing drive in the Champ Breezeway and a toiletry drive stationed in the library. As you walk through campus, keep an eye out for the holiday decorated boxes and other charities to donate to during this giving season.

Happy Holidays, Red Foxes!


Video filmed and edited by: Michelle DeMartino

↑ Back to top


Be the first to post a comment.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *