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Decorating trees for those in need

Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce adds new event to St. Nich Fest this year

By Brittany Fuller
Brittany.fuller@jessaminejournal.com

This year, The Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce is bringing a new tradition to Jessamine County with its inaugural Christmas Tree Trail benefiting The Jessamine County School’s Homeless Education Program.
From now trough Dec. 8, the chamber is inviting Jessamine County residents to decorate a tree that represents their business, hopes or childhood dreams which will later be auctioned off Dec. 9 through Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, Saturday Dec. 14th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a possible evening viewing added at a later date. The bidding will close Saturday night of the St. Nich Festival parade. All proceeds will benefit the children in need through JCS’s homeless education program.
“I went to Disney last Christmas and they have a tree trail of trees themed with Disney characters,” Ronda May with the Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce said. “It was awesome. I think we often forget that kids right here in our community are struggling with homelessness.  If we can help to provide them with basic necessities at least that would be one less worry for them and their family.”
From Nov. 8 through Jan. 5, Disney Springs in Orlando Florida hosts a tree trail with 23 Disney themed trees for all ages to enjoy. The trail is complete with falling snow and holiday music, and features themes such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Frozen, Sleeping Beauty and many more. May is hopeful that this tradition in Jessamine County will not only benefit those less fortunate, but allow for residents to decorate trees representing the county they call home much like trees decorated at the Disney park.
“I would hope a couple thousand (trees to be decorated), but I know any amount will help,” May said. “(Residents) can come in anytime while we are open; if some need after hours, I will open up for them (as well).”
Trees are allowed to be as large as the resident would like but must be at least four-foot tall. They will be displayed in the chamber of commerce, located at 116 S. Main St. Trees can be set up and decorated at the chamber office as well.
“(We just ask) for nothing inappropriate,” May said. “We will post Facebook videos to encourage people to come bid. If there are ones that aren’t purchased, we will donate them to a family in need. I think we could get as many as 50 in here and if too many is a problem, then that is a good thing. I will make it work.”
Pictures, May said, will also be posted on the St. Nich Fest Facebook page. Every person or company which donates a tree will have a sign next to their tree telling those who stop into the chamber about its decorations and why it is significant.
For more information call 859-887-4351.