DOVER -- It may still be October but the Union Hospital Auxiliary is busy building Christmas trees of all shapes and sizes for the group's 22nd annual Christmas Tree Festival in November. While the organization committee works nearly year-round on the project, chairperson Connie Finton of New Philadelphia says Christmas tree designers moved into high gear building trees earlier in September.

"Labor Day really means it's time for us to get to work," Finton said. "Auxiliary members create and build dozens of trees for sponsors who give us a figure to work with and we make them a great tree to put their name beside for the Festival."

Finton says more Christmas tree sponsors are needed for the event, coming up Nov. 14-22 at Warther's Museum in Dover. "Whether the sponsor would like the Auxiliary committee to build a tree for them or they have an employee group to do it themselves, we'd like to hear from them as soon as possible."

Finton says businesses, organizations, or individuals who'd like to sponsor a Christmas tree in the Festival should call the Union Hospital Community Relations office during business hours. The phone number is 330-364-0884.

Christmas trees are being built at the Auxiliary Project Center on South Wooster Ave., in Dover. Among those designing and decorating trees is Nathan Paternoster, who in his spare time away from his job at Pam's Posies in Dover, is building a number of trees for this year's Christmas Tree Festival.

"Nathan is doing some amazing Christmas tree designs," Finton said, "bringing new ideas and techniques that have us all watching and learning as he works."

The Christmas Tree Festival is a major fundraising event for the Union Hospital Auxiliary. Proceeds from the Festival, added to their many other events and projects during the year, enabled the Auxiliary to make a gift of $200,000 to Union Hospital earlier this year. The funds were designated for the new Emergency Center now under construction.

For more information about the Christmas Tree Festival and to see the video showing many trees from previous events, visit the UH Auxiliary web by going to the Union Hospital web site at www.unionhospital.org and click on the Christmas Tree Festival photo on the home page.