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Festival of Trees Has Successful Year

December 1, 2016 3:18 p.m.

Hundreds of visitors strolled through the winter wonderland of elegantly decorated trees and wreaths during the 18th annual Festival of Trees at Sarah Bush Lincoln, adding to this year’s success.

“We had an unbelievable year. People were very generous with their donations,” event coordinator Kim Lockart said. Net proceeds from this year’s event exceeded $100,000. The Foundation would like to extend a special thank you to this year’s sponsors:  Media Sponsor, Consolidated Communications; Title Sponsors, Ervin Equipment, Inc., Dale & Marilyn Hoots and Vicki Kull; Gala sponsors, Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative & CoBank, Dr. Lori & Bobbo Cudone, and Meadowview Golf Course; and Memory Star Tree Title Sponsors, WMCI, The Party, The Axe and Victory.

During the three-day event, the Lumpkin Family Center for Health Education was transformed into a magical wonderland of uniquely designed Christmas trees, wreaths, centerpieces and specialty items. “We had a tremendous turn out this year, especially for Friends Night Out,” Lockart said, adding that more than 400 tickets were sold for Thursday evening. For the fifth year, organizers invited the public to an event preview on Thursday night to kick off the event.

While some of the trees had traditional decorations, many had elaborate and imaginative designs following specific themes. “I had numerous people comment that this was the most beautiful Festival ever, and I would have to agree. The designers did an unbelievable job,” Lockart said. “Each year the Festival committee figures out how to make it better than the year before. Just when I think we have reached our limit, I’m proven wrong.”

Funds raised during the last three Festival of Trees supported Sarah Bush Lincoln’s Building Hope campaign, a $3.5 million campaign to help offset construction costs of the new Regional Cancer Center on the Health Center’s campus. Committee members, designers and attendees should be very proud that the Festival has contributed over $300,000 to support the Regional Cancer Center.

The Festival also featured a Memory Star Tree in which people purchased a star to honor or memorialize someone special. Following the Festival, people had the opportunity to take their star home to enjoy throughout the holidays. Money raised from the Memory Star Tree benefits Lincolnland Hospice.

For more information about Festival of Trees, contact Kim Lockart, event coordinator, at 238-4765.

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