• John McGary, Woodford Sun News Editor

1st Festival of Trees set for Dec. 1

A fundraiser dreamed up by a Woodford County Chamber of Commerce group will see 14 decorated Christmas trees be raffled off on Dec. 1 at The Galerie.

Organizer Elisha Holt said she and other members of the Leadership Woodford County program were tasked with creating and carrying out a community project.

“And so when we were tossing around ideas, what we discovered was the Shop With A Cop, their major fundraiser … went away this year. So we decided that it would be a good idea – myself and Sarah Hector, who owns Visiting Angels – we decided we wanted to find some kind of a solution for that,” Holt said.

Versailles Police Department Sgt. Anthony Conner, who runs the Shop With A Cop program, said the annual car show benefit, though lots of fun for officers and the community, was discontinued because of rising expenses. This year, they’ve collected money three times at intersections for Shop With A Cop and also received proceeds from a golf scramble put on by the Versailles Fire Department. Conner said Hector of Visiting Angels, a homecare program, reached out to him in early October about the Festival of Trees proposal.

“She’s great,” Conner said of Hector.

Proceeds from the Festival of Trees will also benefit Young Life of Woodford County.

Holt said 14 tree sponsors, most of them area businesses, will bring a decorated tree to The Galerie two days before the event, and they can be viewed Friday, Nov. 30, when the Christmas tree lighting takes place. The Festival of Trees event takes place Saturday, Dec. 1, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“Basically, we’re going to have 10 tickets that you can purchase for $20, and we’re going to have a package set up in front of each fully decorated Christmas tree, and if that’s the tree that you want to win, then you put your raffle ticket into the package,” Holt said.

By the end of the event, a ticket will be pulled from each package, and the winner will get to take that tree home.

The $35 cost includes a catered meal by Sweet Lilu’s and a silent auction. For $50, “VIPs” will receive a Festival of Trees ornament and two drinks.

Conner said last year, Shop With A Cop benefited 206 kids, with each receiving between $100 and $125 worth of items. Holt said she hopes the Festival of Trees can raise a majority of the $20,000 or so needed for this year’s Shop With A Cop program, which takes place Dec. 15.

“That’s part of the reason we decided this is such a good project to take on,” Holt said. “That’s a lot of money. But 206 children in

Woodford County – that’s a big portion of children in the community. We just decided that’s really important, and we need to make sure they have the resources to do those things moving forward.”

For more information about the Festival of Trees, call (859) 251-4400. The Galerie is at 134 Court Street.


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