By Jessica Isaacs | [email protected]
Photos by Ken Ketchie
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Get in the holiday spirit this weekend at Chetola Resort’s Festival of Trees and bid on a decorated tree for your home. It’s a great way to get the sparkly Christmas look without untangling all those lights, and all proceeds benefit Western Youth Network.
Festival volunteer Jan Todd said buying a pre-decorated tree is a fast and easy way to ring in the season.
“Last year I volunteered here and that was when I was first introduced to WYN. I’d never heard of them because we were new to the area. I was kind of feeling melancholy because my kids were not home,” she explained. “We’re empty nesters and it was the first year that I didn’t have any kids home, so I was just really down in the dumps about decorating a tree. I bid on this tree and I won it. They shrink-wrapped it and I brought it home … it had the lights, it had the skirt, it had the ornaments and we just unwrapped it. It was perfect, so I’m back.”
The festival offers up 40 completely decorated trees and 40 wreaths, many of which come with added gifts and goodies fitting the tree’s theme.
“The generosity that is represented in this room is really kind of overwhelming,” said WYN Board Chair Jenny Koehn. “Some designers are businesses. Some are groups of friends. Some are community organizations. They’ve just taken their theme and run with it. They buy and decorate the trees and buy the gifts.”
Whether you explore the trees in person or bid online, every penny you contribute will be used to reach local kids.
WYN is a local nonprofit agency established in 1985 that aims to “build youth of character and confidence so that every young person in the High Country reaches their full potential” and envisions “a community in which every child, regardless of their circumstances, thrives.”
“WYN recognizes a simple truth — growing up is hard, especially during those pivotal years from fifth through 10th grades. WYN invests in the lives of children and youth in order to build a better future and a stronger community for the High Country,” its website reads. “We truly are ‘raising a community,’ and we do this by providing unique and quality programming that offers individualized support to over 200 children and youth each year in our Mentoring and After School Initiatives alone.”
Festival hours will include:
- Thursday, Dec. 1, 6:30-9 p.m.
- Friday, Dec. 2, noon to 9 p.m.
- Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Sunday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.