This Christmas Eve, Blackstone’s of Beacon Hill will conclude its five-year “Mystery Ornament Project,” with a two-day celebration in partnership with Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Smolak Farms, the Wang Theatre and Cambridge Trust Company Bank to benefit cancer research at Mass. General Hospital for Children Cancer Center (MGHCC). Hundreds of people from all over the country (26 different states), who have participated in Blackstone’s Mystery Ornament Program, will be welcomed by officials of the Park Plaza with video greetings from actor Richard Thomas an Mayor Thomas M. Menino in the Georgian Ballroom for a night of entertainment to celebrate a collective achievement that has produced enormous fun and goodwill.
Blackstone’s popular Christmas mystery includes 10 mystery ornaments and the publication of an illustrated book entitled “The Last Sheppard and Tales of the Tenth Ornament.” Blackstone’s has issued two ornaments every year since 2006, encoded with mystery anagrams. When deciphered, the ornaments will reveal a five-line message of hope for the Holiday season. The net proceeds from the book have raised over $5,000 for pediatric cancer research at MGHCC.
Activities for the participants start on Friday, Dec. 23, when they will be treated to complimentary tickets to the Rocket’s Christmas Spectacular at the Wang Center. Christmas Eve festivities start with a candlelight procession from the hotel to the Cambridge Trust Company, where branch manager, Donna Petro will greet guests, reveal the final riddle of the ornaments and award prize money, both of which have been under lock and key for five years for some lucky participant. The evening concludes at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel with a turkey dinner, complete will all the trimmings and a very special gift which will be presented to all, a real Christmas tree that over the years has been nurtured, quietly grown and gathering strength at Smolak Farms in North Andover awaiting patiently for this special day.
The tree is a special gift from Michael Smolak, owner and operator of Smolak Farms. The tree, when brightly lit, will grace the proceeding at the Park Plaza Event. Smolak Farms has created memories for families since 1985 and has been developed by the Smolak family over the past 26 years as a family destination just north of Boston.
The farm now offers a full service bakery, ice cream shop, educational programs for children, and orchards where families are welcome to pick their own fruit. In 1982, the family partnered with the State of Massachusetts Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program to preserve 107 of their 160 acres. Their efforts ensure that the land will be natural farmland forever.
The wonderful gift from Smolak Farms caps the many wonderful gifts and acts of kindness received by Blackstone’s of Beacon Hill from its valued customers, vendors, local businesses and institutions during this project. Beacon Hill, is truly a wonderful neighborhood in Massachusetts, unlike any other, that exemplifies the true spirit of the season – year round.