The 2012 Festival of Trees is Having a Holly Jolly Christmas

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the Sartori Memorial Hospital Auxiliary will be ushering in the holiday season with its 24th  Annual Festival of Trees celebration. The 2012 Festival, ‘Holly Jolly Christmas, will take place the week of November 14 through the 18th. This year’s Festival will feature all the traditional favorites and some new twists.

The Holly Berry Brunch & Program will be held inside the beautiful Festival Gallery of Trees in the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. Plan to join us on Wednesday, November 14, from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. for this popular event.  Guests will enjoy a delightful brunch catered by University of Northern Iowa. Co-chairs of this year’s event are Gail Thornton, Donna Cuvelier and Bev Michael.

A holiday tradition continues this year with one of the most anticipated events of the Festival, the Holly Day Luncheon & Style Show. Set for Friday, November 16 at 11:00 a.m. this year’s event will be held at the beautiful Park Place Event Centre. The style show event offers guest the opportunity for local Cedar Valley clothiers to display the latest holiday fashions. This show offers great entertainment for men and women of all ages. The day will begin with a reception from 11:00 a.m. to noon featuring complimentary cocktail and punch; a cash bar will be available. The Chairs of this year’s style show event are Shannon Closson and Charisse Faris. Tickets are $35 per person.

Coming back in 2012 is the ever popular Rockin’ Reindeer Racing event on Friday, November 16 at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center beginning at 6:30 p.m. This is a casual event in which participants will be able to view virtual horse races, which are named by local sponsors.  Festival goers will be able to use play money to wager on their favorite horse, dance to the music of a live band, and enjoy scrumptious snacks, a cash bar and silent auction bidding. Tickets for this event are $22. Chair for this event is Holly Dusenbery.

Festive fun is in store for children who attend the Teddy Bear Time, one of the most popular events at the Festival of Trees. Children will be entertained and enchanted by sing-along songs, a dance performance by the UNI Orchesis Dance Company and a visit from Santa on Sunday, November 18 at the UNI Commons Ballroom.  Refreshments and a special teddy bear will be provided for all children. The afternoon will be sure to leave your little boys and girls with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads! All children must be accompanied by an adult. Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras. Co-chairs of the Teddy Bear Tea are Sarah Austin and Brandi White.

This year’s Festival of Trees event will also bring back favorite exhibits such as the beautifully designed trees and wreaths, elegant table settings, musical demonstrations and the crèchenativity scenes will return to the Festival Gallery this year. Throughout the Festival raffle tickets can be purchased for a prize package including jewelry, furniture, $500 cash and more. You will also want to purchase your chance to win 100 bottles of wine from the wine tree raffle. Visit Festival at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on Saturday, November 17 to purchase homemade goodies from Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen Bake Sale and bring the kids on in to enjoy Santa’s Workshop from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Guests and shoppers alike will enjoy the Festival Marketplace Gift Shoppe’s expanded hours as well as the beautiful Gallery of Trees throughout the Festival at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.  The Marketplace will be open to the public during Gallery Hours as follows:

Wednesday, November 14: Noon to 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 15: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Friday, November 16: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 17: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 18: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Festival of Trees has become a vital component for the wellbeing of Sartori Memorial Hospital.  This year Festival has a goal of raising $55,000 to enhance services at Sartori Memorial Hospital.  Festival is also gift to the community making the Cedar Valley a more festive place to be during the holiday season. Tickets are required for some events but all exhibits are free and open to the public.

Festival Co-chairs are working with over 60 Festival “Elves” tending to their workshops and preparing for this year’s celebration.  Artist William Close donated a beautiful original artwork, “Holly Jolly Christmas”, an interpretation of the 2012 Festival theme. The original artwork will be part of the silent auction, with final bidding ending on Sunday, November 18th at 4:00 p.m.

Thank you to everyone for your dedication and attendance to this spectacular community event.  We appreciate all of the support from our sponsors and community members in making a successful Festival to benefit Sartori Memorial Hospital.

Guest Blog: Christy Stolz, Sartori Healthcare Foundation

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