Alvin and the Chipmunks highlight hospital's Celebration of Trees

Alvin and the Chipmunks take center stage at this year’s Celebration of Trees at Milford Hospital, the holiday auction that usually sees the Milford Hospital Auxiliary raise about $20,000 to $25,000 for the hospital.

Decorated Christmas trees, with values ranging from a few hundred dollars up to $1,200, are the central attraction at the fund-raiser. But as the years have progressed since the event started, other holiday displays have worked their way into the auction.

Alvin and the Chipmunks may be one of the more unusual raffle items to have graced the show.

Event organizer Rita Canas and co-chairman Grayce Mower put the display together. Canas found the chipmunks at the Rave Motion Pictures, the theater at the Milford mall, after last year’s showing of the Christmas-time Alvin and the Chipmunks movie.

She asked the theater manager what would happen to the more-than-life-sized replicas of Alvin, Simon and Theodore after the movie premier was over, and he told her they would eventually be destroyed.

Canas had other ideas.

“I said, ‘Please give them to me,’ for the hospital,” Canas said.

The theater manager agreed, and ever since then Canas has had an idea in her head of how she wanted Alvin and the Chipmunks to appear at the annual holiday auction. The three stand together upstairs, in the midst of a holiday tree and beach-going items, which she and Mower purchased.

“It’s different,” Canas said, eyeing the trio.

Alvin, Simon and Theodore will each be raffled separately — they’re valued at $200 each — as will the tree and beach items that complete the scene.

The display is just one of many assembled in the lobby — upstairs and downstairs — at Milford Hospital now through Dec. 10.

There are traditional trees with bows and holiday cheer, themed trees, such as Subway’s donation that features Subway gift cards hanging from a festive tree, and the “Apple a Day” tree and display, donated by the McInnis Companies, which includes an IPad, Ipad Mini, Ipod Nano and $60 ITunes card.

There’s a snowman donated by the Canvas Patch, and a reindeer display, valued at $170, donated by Home Care Plus.

PurrFect Pets had been a regular contributor to the annual Celebration of Trees, donating an aquarium each year. PurrFect Pets closed when the owner retired, but Pet Supplies Plus in Orange heeded Canas’ call to take over the tradition, and so there is a holiday aquarium once more among the offerings.

There’s a Polar Express tree, a make-up tree, an eloquent angel-topped tree, a wreath, a police car that children can actually drive, and a hand-carved church, created by hospital engineers Roy Potter and Rob Hill, complete with chiming bells. And there’s a lot more.

People can stop in and see the trees and other holiday raffle items weekdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Raffle tickets are $2, and the drawing is set for Dec. 10 at 4 p.m. Entrants do not have to be present to win.

There are several special events planned. On Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 11 a.m., there will be a performance by the Mixed Notes Quartet.

The choir from Mary Taylor United Methodist Church will perform Friday, Dec. 7, at 5:30 p.m., and there will be a blessing by Father Aidan Donahue, St. Mary Church pastor.

There will be cookies with Mrs. Claus, free, on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 1 to 3 p.m.

On Sunday, Dec. 9, Santa will visit from 1 to 3 p.m., and at 2 p.m. the harp and chimes ensemble, featuring Jan Baldwin, harpist, will perform,

A bake sale will take place Monday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by the raffle at 4 p.m.

Admission is free.