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Reprise of a choral gift

A student chorus performs at the Festival of (Giving) Trees in 2007. After a year’s absence, the Choral Premiere is back this December featuring church choirs. File photo. (click for larger version)
November 08, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — The Festival of (Giving) Trees will once again offer up a joyful noise this holiday season.

The choral performance is returning to this year's annual festival after organizers did not include it in last year's event.

"We thought it would be a great way to celebrate Christmas," said St. Mary's Parish Music Director Brandon Vennink, who is coordinating the performance.

For the community, the festival that runs Dec. 3-6 at the La Salle Reception Center of Notre Dame Church on Main Street is another way to celebrate the holidays and benefit others. Christmas trees decorated by others will be raffled off to attendees and a winter gala will be held to raise money for breast cancer research, according to event coordinator Sue Hapgood, of Sturbridge.

Proceeds will be given to the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC), the Silent Spring Institute (SSI), and Harrington Memorial Hospital's Cancer Center, Hapgood said. Both the SSI and MBCC share the goal of funding research that identifies environmental or chemical causes of cancer. SSI also promotes the use of safe chemicals in everyday life to reduce the exposure to ones that could possibly increase the chances of breast cancer, according to Cheryl Osimo, one of SSI's cofounders and Outreach Coordinator for MBCC.

See Tuesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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