I have an assignment for you after you read this column: Get dressed, grab the family and head over to this year’s Festival of Trees event to support Community Connections and the services we provide for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
There are many reasons to attend the Festival of Trees. It’s beautiful, fun, gets you into the holiday spirit and provides you the opportunity to win one of dozens of prizes, including a Yeti cooler from Kroeger’s Ace Hardware, train and ski passes, gift certificates, toys, tools and much more. Better still, you can attend for free.
This year the 15th annual Festival of Trees is a special celebration of local business and Southwest Colorado’s community spirit supported by local businesses and community donations to the Community Emergency Relief Fund.
Community Connections’ Festival of Trees is a partnership between a community nonprofit organization and local businesses and organizations. Dozens of businesses have sponsored and supported the event, decorated trees and wreaths to turn the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad into a winter wonderland and donated thousands of dollars in gifts and raffle items. These donations help children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities live more integrated lives in our communities.
Some of this year’s raffle items were purchased with Community Emergency Relief Funds managed by the Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado. CERF money enabled Community Connections to recoup lost fundraising dollars from an event canceled because of the 416 Fire and to spend targeted funds with businesses in Durango and Silverton that were impacted by the fire.
By attending Community Connections’ Festival of Trees, you are supporting the kind of strong business and nonprofit partnerships that define our community. In September, the Southwest Rural Philanthropy Days released the “Southwest Colorado Nonprofit Economic Impact Report.” Nonprofits in our region raise more than $7.1 million per year in fundraising contributions, some from local businesses. Much of those dollars are contributed right back into the local economy in the form of employee wages, real estate and printing and food services.
Learn more about the economic impacts of our area nonprofits at https://bit.ly/2Edlc28.
The 2018 Festival of Trees would not be possible without the generous support of businesses like Kroeger’s Ace Hardware, the Gallery, Alpine Bank and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This free event is being held from 1-6 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 8). Come and view the glorious trees and enter to win one of the many available prizes.
For another opportunity to support a local business and Community Connections’ mission to create opportunities for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead healthy and fulfilling lives in our community, visit Morehart Murphy Subaru before Jan. 2 and buy a Subaru. Then, you can choose Community Connections to receive a $250 donation from Subaru’s Share the Love Campaign.
Find out more about the Festival of Trees, view wreaths and trees and available prizes and opportunities to win great prizes at www.communityconnectionsco.org. Happy Holidays!
Tara Kiene is president and CEO Community Connections Inc.