The 33rd annual Festival of Trees is officially underway, but aside from raising thousand of dollars for the Saint Vincent Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network, this year has an extra special dedication.

What’s now a sight of beautifully lit Christmas Trees started with just one in the 1960s made by Mary Spadafor.

“She was a kind generous person who really dedicated her life to others,” Christine Spadafor, said.

Mary volunteered at Saint Vincent Hospital for 25 years.

A group of the women in the axillary decided to hold a fundraiser for the hospital by auctioning off a Christmas tree, marking the first “Festival of Trees.”

“I actually brought my mother here a few years ago and I said, ‘look what you started from one little tree that you made that sold for $60’ in those days which was the same amount as a mortgage payment,” Christine said.

“I think she was a little but overwhelmed, but at the same time she was very proud. And proud especially because the proceeds all benefit the hospital,” she continued.

Mary passed away in October, so her daughter Christine flew in from Boston to be apart of the illumination ceremony, which kicked off the 33rd annual Festival of Trees at the Bayfront Convention Center.

“It’s fun for all ages. We have crafts for kids, Santa’s here, we have live reindeer. It’s just the sights, the smells, the sounds of Christmas, so come down and enjoy,” Christine Bowen, with Saint Vincent Hospital, said.

The Erie Community Foundation dedicating their tree this year to Mary and her love for nature, calling it, “Heaven and Nature Sing.”

“I am so fortunate and privileged to have had her for a mom and, as importantly, a role model,” Christine said. “Hoping that others will remember the power that one little woman can have to start an entire movement to benefit an entire community.”