Lake Saint Louis Celebrates 10 Years as a Tree City USA with Gala Event
Despite a last-minute change of venue, the inaugural Root Ball was a great success.
In an effort to promote its educational outreach program, the Tree Board of Lake St. Louis chose to commemorate ten years as a Tree City USA with a party on the plaza of The Meadows that would include fundraising activities such as a raffle and a live auction. Local businesses donated the items to be auctioned and local dignitaries assisted by selling raffle tickets.
The Gala event was originally scheduled to take place under the stars in the Clock Tower Plaza of the Meadows but threatening clouds and cooler temps forced the party indoors. Barb and Don Baker of Donatelli’s Bistro offered the intimate setting of their wine cellar to host the Gala, and kept the guests warm and dry to enjoy the evening.
The city arborist, Lorri Grueber, and Alderwoman Karen Vennard spearheaded and coordinated the event. Josh Gilliam, a member of the Lake Saint Louis Police Force, was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening, as well as playing the role of auctioneer.
To receive the honor of being a Tree City USA, the city has to hold an annual Arbor Day event, spend $2 per capita on trees, establish a tree ordinance and assemble a tree board. In addition to this, the Tree Board supports community outreach and education programs with “Limby” the mascot visiting local schools to teach children the important role trees play in the community.
The Root Ball featured cocktails and a sit-down dinner provided by Donatelli’s Bistro and live music performed by the local favorite band, Exeed. The night also served as a fundraising event with many items donated for raffle drawing and live auction featuring items donated by Mark Sovich of the Bridgestone/ Firestone Company, among others.
The guest speaker for the evening, State Senator Scott Rupp spoke of the importance of trees in human history as a model for human and divine architecture. “The tree is both a practical model for construction and a mystical model for the universe itself,” Sen. Rupp said, “In a universe filled with chaos, the tree has long been a symbol that man has turned to for answers, guidance, hope and wonder."
The senator concluded his remarks with a quote from naturalist John Muir: "God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods, but he cannot save them from fools."