Sharon M. Pollard Preservation Award

The Preservation Award was established by the Festival Board in 2009 to recognize individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution to historic preservation and restoration.  It was named in honor of Festival Founder and Past President Sharon M. Pollard in 2017.

These honorees have helped the Festival of Trees “Share the Magic” for 26 years!


First Church Group

First Church Congregational, UCC

The Festival of Trees presented its 2019 Sharon M. Pollard Preservation Award to the First Church Congregational, UCC in Methuen, MA.

First Church Congregational, UCC – with its continual existence since 1729 – is one of Methuen’s most significant historic institutions. The 2019 Sharon M. Pollard Preservation Award is intended to recognize and celebrate First Church’s commitment to preserve their magnificent church for their congregation, for our community, and for future generations.

“The Festival of Trees has been privileged to partner with First Church on a number of wonderful projects,” said Festival president Tom Lussier. Over the years, the Festival has provided funding to accomplish significant restoration and preservation projects involving the historic 1866 James E. Treat organ, the beautiful stained-glass windows, and the majestic building itself. “It’s been a real pleasure to work with the dedicated and highly motivated team at the First Church,” Lussier added.

The award was accepted on behalf of First Church by Steve Boyko, Board Chairperson, and Rev. William D. Ingraham, Senior Pastor. Since 2006, the Festival has contributed more than $60,000 to support the restoration of First Church.


Bennett Public Library Association

Bennett Public Library Association

Billerica, MA.

Built in 1881 by Mrs. Eleanor Bennett in memory of her husband Joshua, The Bennett Public Library is located on the common in Billerica, MA. In the absence of an official town library, The Bennett Public Library Association was formed to oversee the operation of what was Billerica’s first public library. The library thrived and filled an important role as Billerica’s cultural and meeting center, including housing the collection of the Billerica Historical Society for much of the early 20th century. It remained the town’s only public library until 1980, when a new facility was built a few doors away.

No longer needed as a library, the Bennett saw the opportunity to begin a new chapter. It opened its doors to educational programs and cultural events. By the early 1990’s, over one hundred years of age and activity had begun taking its toll on the building, and an aggressive rehabilitation campaign began. The electrical system was replaced, safety systems upgraded, the original steam heating system rebuilt with a new boiler, and the pipes for the building’s main water supply were replaced. Large portions of the original slate roof were repaired, and the building’s impressive Victorian masonry was cleaned, repointed and repaired.

“The Festival of Trees has been privileged to partner with the Bennett Public Library Association on a wonderful project to restore the Bennett’s magnificent stained-glass windows,” said Festival president Tom Lussier. The window project was a significant part of the Association’s most recent efforts to preserve the grandeur of the building for future generations. “It’s been a real pleasure to work with the dedicated and highly motivated team at the Bennett,” Lussier added. Since 2011, the Festival has contributed nearly $30,000 to support the restoration of the building’s stained-glass windows.


East Parish

East Parish Meeting House Society

The Festival’s Preservation Award was presented to the Rocks Village Memorial Association and the East Parish Meeting House Society – non-profit, volunteer-based organizations that have worked to preserve two of Haverhill’s historic treasures. According to Festival President Sharon M. Pollard, “These organizations share the Festival’s core commitment to preserving the rich history of our communities.” She added, “We’re proud to have them as Preservation Partners and we’re happy to solute their great work with this recognition.”

Prior recipients of the preservation award include:

  • 2016 – the City of Methuen
  • 2016 – Union Congregational Church Restoration and Preservation Alliance
  • 2015 – Sisters of the Presentation of Mary
  • 2014 – Raymond E. DiFiore
  • 2012 – David A. D’Apice
  • 2011 – Angelo Petrozzelli
  • 2010 – Leonard Brown