Annual Dinner Awards

The Festival of Trees, Inc. held their Annual Meeting on Monday,June 25th, at 13 Branch Street, the home of the Annual Festival of Trees event. The meeting is a celebration of the work of the Festival of Trees and its historic preservation mission. To date, the Festival has spent $1.2 million dollars to support over 140 preservation projects throughout the Merrimack Valley.

Every year the Festival of Trees honors an individual who has a demonstrated a commitment to preserving the history of the Merrimack Valley with its Preservation Award. This year’s recipient was David A. D’Apice, Founder of The Simon Group in No. Andover, MA. A graduate of Boston College with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and an MBA from the University of Lowell, David started his marketing business in The Searles Building in Methuen. David has shown a true commitment to the preservation of historic structures throughout Massachusetts. He has been involved in multiple period building restoration projects in Billerica, Burlington, Woburn and Boxford, MA. Most recently, he has undertaken the structural restoration of the Kimball Forge Iron Works in Boxford, an 18th century water-powered mill and subsequently the home of the Byam and Carlton Match Factory during the Civil War. He has authored two books on the history of Billerica, MA entitled Images of America – Billerica and The Postcard Series of Billerica, based largely on his own collection of historic documents. In addition, he has successfully digitized over 2,000 of Billerica’s earliest records in an effort to create a public database of these rare manuscripts for the town, as well digitizing rare documents in partnership with the Mogan Center in Lowell, MA.

David was the youngest Historical Commissioner for the Town of Burlington, appointed when he was in his teens and since has served on the Board of Directors of a number of organizations, including The Boys and Girls Club and the Billerica Historical Society. Over the years, he has held memberships at the Bennett Public Library, The Burlington Historical Society, The North Andover Historical Society and the Boxford Historical Society. In addition, he has had a long-time association with the Methuen Historical Society and the Festival of Trees since its inception.

“It’s wonderful to recognize someone who is committed to our cause and has made a tangible difference in preserving the heritage of so many communities,” said Ann Guastaferro, President of the Festival of Trees. “David’s dedication and knowledge truly helps support the mission of the Festival of Trees.”

In addition to the Preservation Award, David was presented with citations from Methuen Mayor Stephen N. Zanni and State Representative Linda Dean Campbell. Other awards presented during the event were $1,000 Festival of Trees Scholarships to two area students. The first awarded to Methuen High School student Petty Kim for her many years of volunteer work at the Festival. The second awarded to Andover High School student Robert M. Hsu who will be going on to study historic preservation at Washington University in St. Louis. Also honored was Ms. Julie Brooks of Brooks Properties in Methuen for her continued support and assistance to the Festival of Trees and outgoing board members Kathy George of Windham, NH, Patti Mimms and Lori Newell, both of Methuen.

The following 2012 Festival of Trees preservation grant recipients were highlighted during the event: The Forest Street Union Church in Methuen; St. Paul’s Church in Newburyport, MA; The Old Meetinghouse in Sandown, NH; The Rocks Village Hand Tub House in Haverhill, MA; The Union Congregational Church in Amesbury, MA; and the Hampstead Meetinghouse in Hampstead, NH.

The Festival of Trees will kick off its 19th year on November 17, 2012 and will run through December 1, 2012.