Crescent's Christmas Tree Forest shines a light on local nonprofits
By Samantha Jones
The Crescent Hotel supports local nonprofits every holiday season with the Christmas Tree Forest, located on the east lawn.
Mary Howze, who works with the hotel, said 31 nonprofits are represented this year including the Eureka Springs Community Center, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, The Purple Flower, the Creative Minds of St. James Church, People Helping People and the Imagination Library. Howze said this is the 13th year the Christmas Tree Forest has lit up the Crescent Hotel.
Every year in October, Howze said, the hotel contacts nonprofits to see if they’d like to be involved in the project. Each organization has three days to decorate their tree, Howze said, and the hotel provides the trees and lights. Howze said Sunfest Market provides some of the Christmas trees every year.
“The trees are decorated by the first Saturday in December,” Howze said. “You can come and vote on your favorite three throughout the month until Dec. 31.”
It costs $1 to vote, Howze said, and each nonprofit benefits from that.
“One hundred percent of the money earned for that specific charity goes to that specific charity,” Howze said. “The Crescent gives $25 per charity.”
The nonprofits that raise the most money qualify for additional prizes, Howze said. She said first, second and third place receive extra prize money. It’s important to the Crescent, Howze said, to encourage the community to give back.
“We have a creed here, and one of our elements to our creed is being community-minded,” Howze said. “From the very beginning, we are taught to give back to the community.”
The Crescent gives back in other ways during the holidays, Howze said, from hosting St. James Episcopal Church’s Silver Tea to offering a community dinner benefitting the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow. This year, Howze said, local nonprofit Five & Dime Drama Collective held its holiday show at the Crescent.
“It was a sold-out show, and they got profit off that,” Howze said.
No matter what you’re doing on Christmas, Howze said, you should check out what’s happening at the Crescent. She encouraged everyone to vote for their favorite nonprofit before Jan. 1.
“Come vote. Come vote! You have until Dec. 31 to get your votes in,” Howze said. “It’s a huge competition. I’ve heard we have corporate sponsors coming in. We have $1,500 on just one tree.”
She continued, “Come support the charities and nonprofits. All of that money goes directly to the charities, and there are lots of different causes represented in the forest.”