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Once in a lifetime holiday opportunity

Baldwinsville’s Candace Edwards, right, recently helped lead a team of women to decorate the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Headquarters building in Washington D.C. with an authentic Victorian theme. With her are Karen Morris, left, of Liverpool, and Nancy Hamilton, of Baldwinsville, standing before the Victorian holiday tree they decorated, which features ornaments from GFWC clubs across the country.

Baldwinsville’s Candace Edwards, right, recently helped lead a team of women to decorate the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Headquarters building in Washington D.C. with an authentic Victorian theme. With her are Karen Morris, left, of Liverpool, and Nancy Hamilton, of Baldwinsville, standing before the Victorian holiday tree they decorated, which features ornaments from GFWC clubs across the country.

— Candace Edwards, of Baldwinsville, recently created the 2012 Holiday tree for the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Headquarters Building in Washington, D.C.

As President of the Syracuse Federation Formers, Edwards was offered the opportunity after word of her work on holiday trees spread to the International President of the organization, Mary Ellen Laister.

As incoming president more than a year ago, Laister approached Edwards during the organization’s Middle Atlantic Region cruise in the fall of 2011. Laister had heard and seen pictures of holiday trees created by Laister and asked if she would be interested in decorating a 16-and-a-half-foot tree at International Headquarters.

Plans were underway in the fall of 2011 to create the “Wow” factor at GFWC International Headquarters in D.C. for 2012. Laister wanted each state to create their own version of a Victorian ornament for the tree so Edwards immediately began researching what Victorian trees and decorations looked like. As Laister distributed information about the construction of the ornaments to be donated, Edwards distributed the information at the GFWC-NY Board meeting. New York Clubs really came through with multiple ornaments as did many of the other clubs.

GFWC International Headquarters was built in 1875 and is a Victorian style building. In keeping with the ambiance of the Victorian style building, Laister chose the colors of burgundy, pink, white and gold for the Victorian theme.

Edwards had two partners to help with the huge task of making decorations and decorating in D.C., Karen Morris, of Liverpool, (past GFWC-NY state President) and Nancy Hamilton, of Baldwinsville. Morris made dozens of gorgeous tasseled ornaments for a genuine recreation of a Victorian style mantle. She also created several dozen of Victorian glass ornaments. Hamilton helped to create ornaments and three dozen angels that decorated the huge tree. Add to all those hand-made ornaments, 150 ornaments loaned from the Jr. Women’s Club of Bellerose on Long Island also helped to create the Victorian theme.

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