Festival Of Trees Benefits Local Charities

Courant Community

First Church West Hartford celebrated its 4th annual Festival of Trees, on Dec. 1 and 2.

Dozens of decorated holiday trees were displayed at the church for visitors to enjoy, and bid on in a raffle in which the proceeds are donated to local charities.

The Festival of Trees was the idea of First Church member Kim Carbone, said Ginny Vocelli, also a church member and one of the organizers of the event.

"She thought it would be a great idea to raise money for the community," said Vocelli, adding, "It's a fun thing to do for the community."

Local organizations, businesses, and residents donated a decorated holiday tree in a chosen theme, and visitors to the festival then bid on their tree of choice.

All proceeds from the raffle tickets are donated to local community outreach programs, including Gifts of Love, Interval House, Loaves & Fishes, Foodshare, Habitat for Humanity, Covenant to Care for Children, Freshplace, My Sister's Place, South Park Inn, Hands on Hartford, and The Bridge Family Center.

The festive trees were on display at the church during West Hartford's Holiday Stroll, Dec. 1, and reopened to the public after church services on Dec. 3.

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