Festival of Trees decks the halls this Saturday

Lauren Clark, Contributing Writer

Review file photo

Pictured is one of the unique trees chosen to be a silent auction item at last year’s Festival of Trees. The tree was decorated and donated by Marilyn Coville, 2011 Kalkaska Citizen of the Year and current president of the Friends of the Kalkaska County Library.


KALKASKA – The 2019 Festival of Trees kicks off its 24th year of fundraising for Kalkaska Area Interfaith Resources (KAIR) this Saturday, Nov. 16 in the Northland Plaza corridor. Opening festivities begin at 10 a.m. with free coffee, juice and muffins provided by McDonald’s of Kalkaska, along with live music by Patty Cox. From 11 am to 1 pm festival goers can visit with Santa.

Entering the festival is free and open to the public. According to organizers, children and adults will be amazed by the spectacular showcase of holiday cheer.

Forty beautifully decorated trees will be on display, all created by local citizens and organizations. The majority of trees can be won by simply purchasing raffle tickets and dropping them into the box corresponding to the selected tree.

This year the festival will display trees with themes such as Harry Potter, Hot Wheels, American Girl doll, cats, unicorns, “The Wizard of Oz,” monster trucks, as well as a sleigh filled with gifts, and many more.

A few chosen trees are available only as silent auction items, with the highest bid on the final day of the festival winning the tree. The trees will remain on display until Sunday, Nov. 24 at 3 p.m. when raffle ticket drawings will be done to determine the holiday entry winners.

Shopping spree raffle tickets are back again this year. Purchase these separate raffle tickets for a chance at the first prize, a three-minute $500 shopping trip at Northland Grocery. Second prize is a $100 gift card from Rapid City Village Market.

Both tree and shopping spree raffle tickets are $2 each or 6 for $10. Ticket holders do not have to be present to win any of the tree, raffle or silent auction items.

Festival of Trees isn’t just about uniquely bedecked trees; the entire purpose of the weeklong celebration is to raise money for KAIR services and food pantry. In addition to supplying food for those hungry in the local community, KAIR also runs a resale thrift store in downtown Kalkaska and helps those in need with utility assistance.

According to KAIR Director Cathy Somes, Festival of Trees is the organization’s largest fundraising event each year. Beginning in 1995, it has grown to be a truly spectacular event.

The Festival of Trees committee is made up of 15 volunteers that organize, plan and staff the fund drive with help from the entire community.  Hoping to top last year’s grand total donation of over $50,000 raised from sponsors, raffle sales, silent auctions, donations, and celebratory luncheon, committee members started planning for the 2019 Festival as soon as the 2018 one concluded.

All money raised from the event goes directly to KAIR for client services and pantry needs.

Read the full story in our regular edition of The Review. To subscribe to the paper for just $34 a year, which includes access to our full online e-edition, please go to the subscription page on this website at: http://www.antrimreview.net/subscribe/




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