Festival of Trees benefits Interfaith Caring Ministries
For League City-based Interfaith Caring Ministries, Christmas trees are more than a holiday tradition. They play a vital role in keeping the human-services organization afloat.
The ministry's annual Festival of Trees leases hundreds of decorated Christmas trees to area businesses each holiday season. Ministry volunteers provide delivery and pick-up services, and area nonprofits and community groups handle the decorations.
But before businesses get the trees this year, they'll be on display at the Crystal Ballroom at South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center, 2500 South Shore Blvd. in League City, where Interfaith Caring Ministries will host a fashion show Wednesday, Dec. 1, and a holiday dinner Thursday, Dec. 2.
All Festival of Trees proceeds support Interfaith Caring Ministries, 151 Park Ave., which provides emergency assistance to prevent homelessness.
The group also provides childcare assistance for parents pursuing high school GED or college educations, a Christmas Store that allows families in need to select donated gifts for their children, assistance for senior adults and school supply distribution.
"We represent a lot of needs in our community, and we want to support them," said Kim Barker, who is serving as festival co-chairwoman with Katy Bastedo. "The idea is to have an event the community will enjoy that will also benefit the community."
The doors to the fashion show will open at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 1, with the show beginning at 11:30 a.m.
In addition to the trees, the room will be decorated with hanging snowflakes, each available for sponsorship and dedication to loved ones.
The show will feature selections from Jill's Fashions & Bridals, League City; Back Bay Boutique, Seabrook; Adelaide's Boutique, Clear Lake; Clothes Horse, League City; and Dillard's, Baybrook Mall.
The day also will feature live and silent auctions.
Admission is $75 for general seating and $95 for runway seating.
The following evening, guests can return to the ballroom for the ministry's holiday dinner, which costs $85 per plate.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner, dancing, live entertainment and more live and silent auctions.
On Friday, Dec. 3, volunteers will start delivering the trees to businesses that have leased them. Prices range from $150 for a 4-foot tree; $250 for 6-foot trees; $350 for 8-foot trees and $1,000 for 10-foot selections.
A seed was planted
Interfaith Caring Ministries, which has been in operation for 25 years, launched the program 17 years ago.
The fundraiser was developed by board member Nina Spencer, a League City resident who continues to serve on the board.
The event started with the tree leasing, Spencer said. The organization board was a bit skeptical at first, but the first year raised $10,000.
Since then, before the economy started to struggle, the festival has raised as much as $100,000, Spencer said.
"I'm very pleased with the organization and the work of the ladies," she said.
Participating businesses have ranged over the years from a local dentist to Boeing. The lease program still is a win-win situation, Spencer said.
"Instead of your people taking time away from business activities to decorate a tree, we'll do it," she said. "In the meantime, you're donating to your community to give people a hand up."
For information about leasing a tree, call 281-332-3881.
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