Decorated trees and silent auctions on display to raise funds for social outreach group.
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/14/2012 -- Dancing trees waving signs beckoned customers into the Exposition Gardens, where Christmas decorations lit the warehouse at the Fourth Annual Festival of Trees on Saturday.
"If I had my grandkids here, we would be going home with that tree right there," Annette Stahl, of Peoria, as she pointed out a tree adorned with flying discs and yo-yos.
Over 60 trees, wreaths, and tablescapes were sponsored by varying backers. A toy-themed tree came from the Junior League of Peoria, which was rivaled by a Tinkerbell tree, as well as a white and red wine tree.
Holiday snacks and cookies were provided for the visitors who browsed the many trees, accompanied by the merriment of Christmas music. Some bid on decoration items in the silent auction benefitting Crittenton Centers.
The center is a social service organization that caters to the central Illinois area with crisis nursery, daycare, and preschool programs and family support.
Crittenton Centers development and marketing director, Danielle Easton, stated that the organizers hope the event will raise upwards of $40,000. The center has fallen behind with state funding dwindling over recent years.
Stuff like this really helps us immediately to keep our doors open," she said.
A Bradley student group, SERVE, provided volunteers to help with the booths at the event.
"I loved it. I think it's a lot of fun and a great way to get in the Christmas spirit," said sophomore Nichole Carey. "It's a warehouse but they transform it, and when you walk in, it's Christmas."
Julie Dansizen, accompanied by her three grandchildren, said they enjoyed the Christmas spirit found an indoor setting.
"It's inside and we could bring the kids to something for Christmas," said Dansizen, who attended the event with her husband, son and son's family.
Sandy Fulton brought her 5-year-old granddaughter to the event to celebrate the season, as well as enjoy the decorations. She also admitted the event was a chance to remember those relatives who could not be there.
"My mother lives just across the street at Grand View Alzheimer's (Special Care) Center, and I'm going to bring her back later just to look at all the sparkling lights," Fulton said.
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