"Sammy's Tree" Helps Watertown Boy in Fight With CancerPosted: Updated:
The tall, the small, the traditional and the unconventional.
They were all on display at the North Country Festival of Trees at the Dulles State Office Building in Watertown over the weekend and they were all up for grabs to the highest bidder.
"We got four trees today," said Sean Brett, a Watertown man who was at the auction. "We got a couple for a few family members and we'll donate a couple."
Some of the larger, more extravagant trees went for $2,000. Others brought in hundreds.
Proceeds from the event go to Samaritan Health and the Watertown YMCA.
There was one tree though that may not have been the biggest or flashiest in the room, but the story behind it makes it stand apart from the rest.
The tree was in honor of Sammy Shelton, who is not even one year old yet and battling leukemia.
"Sammy's a patient at the Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse," said Cindy Cornwell, Sammy's Grandmother. "For the first few treatments, he's actually been in the same room - Room 26. So, the name of the tree was "Sammy's World. Love from Room 26."
Like the others, Sammy's tree went up for auction this weekend. However, the bids started climbing much higher than normal.
"One individual stood up and said, 'I'll go $1,000," said Denise Young, CEO of the Watertown YMCA. " And all of a sudden it turned into multiple people standing. We ended up saying this is going to Sammy. And over $11,000 was raised to go to Sammy and Sammy's family."
"It didn't stay being just Sammy's tree. I just that it became a community tree and everybody fell in love with our Sammy," said Cornwell.
And instead of a high bidder, the tree is going to Sammy and his family, who are back home for a few days.
The trees a sign of the spirit of the holidays, and Sammy's tree a sign of the spirit of a community.