This year's theme is "A Ruby Red Christmas."
The Casements Guild's 40th-anniversary Christmas Gala is just a few weeks away, and this year, the Guild has been working hard to make sure it is one of the most memorable holiday events of the year.
“This year is going to be the biggest and the best," said Guild Co-Chair Sue Hansen.
Themed "A Ruby Red Christmas," since the ruby stone is the traditional 40th-anniversary stone, this year's three-day event beginning on Friday, Nov. 30 and ending on Sunday, Dec. 1, will include entertainment, displays, tree gallery and food trucks. The gala will also be reinstating old traditions and creating new ones, such as bringing back the gala's Snow Queen and introducing a guestbook
containing the names of those who attended the very first gala in 1978. Their names are engraved on the silver and gold bells used to adorn the tree each year.
Usually, the Guild charges $5 for guests to come into The Casements during the gala, as this is their largest annual fundraiser. However, thanks to a gift by late docent Mara Gourley, this year it is free for the community.
“It’s in her honor this year," Hansen said.
The gala is the guild's way of paying tribute to John D. Rockefeller's annual Christmas parties.And with each passing year, the gala continues to grow. In 2017, they added the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Gardens. This year, the Guild has bought five new life-size reindeers for Santa's sled and a six-foot star for the roof of the house.
The Casements Snow Queen will also return, as Kathy Morgan will play the role formerly performed by Elsa Wiedemann. Morgan will help light the tree and house on the first evening of the gala. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be back for photo ops.
Hansen expressed her gratitude for the Guild's partnership with the city of Ormond Beach.
“Seeing a governmental organization and a nonprofit work day to day, so close together — we’re all like family," Hansen said.