Festival of Trees raises record amount

Hospice of Rutherford County held their 16th annual Festival of Trees on Thursday.
Dec. 07, 2012 @ 06:30 AM

FOREST CITY— Hospice of Rutherford County sold a record number ornaments for this year's 16th annual Festival of Trees.

"We sold over 1,500 ornaments this year and so far we have raised $26,000. It is the most ornaments we have ever sold," said Kim Smith, volunteer manager.

Hospice began the Festival of Trees event 16 years ago to give people an end-of-year giving opportunity and a way to honor and remember loved ones during the holiday. Traditionally, the average donation per ornament has been $20.

"The Hospice volunteers make all the ornaments on our campus. They start in March and work on them through September. We could not do this without them," Smith said.

On Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., those that purchased an ornaments were invited to come and view them hanging on Christmas trees and then take them home.

Beverly Borders and Merrylynn Ramsey were two of the people who attended. Ramsey had purchased an ornament in honor of Border's mother, Willie Fox Byrd.

"Beverly's mom is a special lady who I was privileged to meet. I had an endearing relationship with her. Beverly has been my best friend for 30 years and I am glad I was able to help her out," Ramsey said.

Jeanette Klutts also attended. She had purchased ornaments for five of her friends.

"This is a great event because it means so much to the families," Klutts said. "It is a good tribute and a way for us to support Hospice, which is so wonderful for our county."

The event was held at the Carolina Event and Conference Center on Thursday and is an annual fundraiser to assist Hospice in serving patients with life-limiting illness regardless of ability to pay. Funds are also used to ensure Hospice can provide grief counseling for any adult, child or teen who has lost a loved one and support for any caregiver in Rutherford County.