Festival of Trees Kicks-Off the 2010 Event

Festival of Trees celebrated the kick-off of its 22nd year with a Christmas in July event celebrating the many volunteers who make the Festival possible.

As part of this event, the Festival is proud to announce the Honorary Chairs of this year’s Festival: Mr. Rick Toomey and Dr. Linda Hawes.

The Festival of Trees, benefitting Friends of Caroline Hospice, will be held December 6 – 11 at the Charles L. Brown Neighborhood Activity Center (formerly the Greene Street Gym). As Beaufort’s premier holiday event, the Festival includes a showcase of beautifully decorated trees, a grand Opening Reception with silent auction, a gourmet and gift shop and daily lunches. During these remarkable five days, the gym is transformed into a holiday wonderland, where simply stepping through the doors puts you in the holiday spirit.

In the past 21 years, Festival of Trees has raised almost $800,000 for Friends of Caroline Hospice. The Festival is Friends of Caroline Hospice’s largest fundraiser, helping them provide free care and volunteer services offering hope, encouragement and comfort to our friends and neighbors who live with life-threatening illness.

Rick Toomey and Linda Hawes are excited to serve as the Honorary Chairs. They explain, “We are excited to be the Honorary Chairs of the 2010 Festival of Trees. The Festival provides critical funds enabling Friends of Caroline Hospice to continue to provide dedicated, caring and compassionate support to the patients and families who need their services. At the same time the Festival connects so many organizations in creating a festive event that helps kick off the holiday season. It is an honor to be involved with this year’s Festival of the Trees.”

Rick and Linda relocated to Beaufort from Rocky Mount, North Carolina two years ago. Rick is the CEO at Beaufort Memorial Hospital, and Linda is physician working as a hospitalist at Beaufort Memorial Hospital. They have three adult daughters.

The Festival is also pleased to announce this year’s Volunteer Chairs: Mr. and Mrs. Bo Mitchell. The Mitchells will lead the many volunteers who devote their time to make the Festival a success. Having been volunteers for the Festival in numerous capacities for many years, the Mitchells appreciate the effort that goes into making the Festival a success. “”The Festival of Trees gives our community an opportunity to celebrate its own creativity and to celebrate together the Christmas season,” says Kathy Mitchell. “It’s also a way for the our community to give back to Friends of Caroline Hospice, an organization that gives so much to the community through its programs, services and care.”

Bo is a native Beaufortonian and partner in Mitchell Bros. Contractors, and Kathy is a military transplant and a librarian at the Beaufort County Public Library. With two daughters, Sally and Katy, actively involved in the Festival, Bo and Kathy consider the Festival of Trees a family affair.

The organizers of the Festival also announced other exciting news at the Christmas in July event:

Trees and Auction Parties Trees are available for sponsorship, and the Festival’s hallmark Auction Parties are already under way. More information is available on the Festival’s newly revamped website, http://www.festivaloftreesbeaufort.com, or by calling 525-6257. Information is also available on the Festival of Trees Facebook page.

Breakfast with Santa The Junior Service League of Beaufort (JSLB) will be hosting this year’s Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 11.

Military Appreciation Day Military Appreciation Day will be Wednesday, December 8. Military servicemen and women, and their families, will receive free admission during this day. “This is one small way we can thank our military community for all they do to serve our country,” said Kathy Mitchell, Volunteer Chair.

Festival Quilt One of the Festival’s cherished traditions is the annual showcasing of a beautiful handmade quilt generously donated by the Sea Island Quilters. The spectacular 2010 quilt made by the loving hands of Judy Cain, Patti Van Buren and Carol Jayne. The quilt will be on display at many of the Beaufort area festivals and events.


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