FISHERS - The fourth annual Hamilton County Festival of Trees, a fundraiser for the Good Samaritan Network, has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 18, at the Bridgewater Club, Carmel.
The return of this holiday tradition, since 2014, marks a significant impact for Hamilton County residents.
The evening includes a dinner, a keynote speaker, and an auction of exquisitely custom designed themed Christmas trees, wreaths and table centerpieces - hand decorated by local designers specifically as fundraising pieces.
The cost is $75 per person. Reservations are now available and are required due to limited seating, and admission. Contact Good Samaritan Network, (317) 842-2603, to register as a designer, sponsor, or to RSVP. Or visit www.gsnlive.org/festival-of-trees.
Besides themed Christmas Trees, wreaths and more, one of the many specialty items being auctioned this year includes "A Visit from Santa."
Attendees will be able to bid on a "Night Before Christmas" real life scene, witnessed in the home from a distance by the family, as Santa actually places presents under the tree and enjoys his cookies and milk.
Additionally, "Toy Making With Santa" will be auctioned as children are able to participate one-on-one in Santa's personalized toy shop.
These specialty auction items are made possible by professional Santa, Kristofer C. Kringle, with more than 30 years of experience. He is a graduate of the International University of Santa Claus.
Purchased trees will be professionally delivered free to the purchaser's residence by Two Men and A Truck moving company the following Monday or Tuesday after the event.
Last year more than 60 Christmas trees, wreaths, Ccenterpieces, and paintings were auctioned with nearly $15,000 in the general and silent auction items.
The evening's MC is Wil Hampton. He is recognizable to many as a former sportscaster and community leader; after graduating from Ole Miss, his career path began in Tupelo, Miss., at WTVA. He made two stops in North Carolina (Greensboro and Charlotte) on his way home to Indiana and WISH TV in 1995.
He has also held management positions with the Indianapolis Colts and Marian University before coming to NewDay in September of 2017.
As a City Councilman in Noblesville, active Catholic at Our Lady of Grace Church and involved school parent, Hampton has seen drug addiction reach epidemic levels and it's his passion for helping others that brought him to NewDay with a sincere goal of making a difference and changing lives.
He also a taught religious education class at OLG for nearly 15 years and he currently hosts a radio show on Catholic Radio Indy.
The fundraising effort for this event is allows GSN to provide critically needed holiday food boxes and baskets which include meat, nonperishable food, staples, and limited purchases of gift cards that are utilized only for extenuating household circumstances, including physical and or health issues.
Good Samaritan Network's financial fundraising goal for this event is $65,000. Proceeds from the evening will be directed for Good Samaritan Network's signature Holiday Assistance program - which only assists Hamilton County residents (28,978 in 2016).
Not only has Good Samaritan Network already distributed over 268,000 lbs of nonperishable food to Hamilton County food pantries and residents at this point this year; it is in need of funding in order to prepare for distribution 275,000 lbs of food for our holiday assistance at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Financial resources are essential, beyond general in-kind donations (toys and clothing), to fulfill required holiday food purchases (meat, bread, canned food, etc).
The county-wide holiday assistance program is made possible because of in-kind donations received and processed all year long by Good Samaritan Network; which is dependent upon the neighbors and residents of Hamilton County for the donation of gently used or NEW clothing and toys that are repurposed without cost to the residents of Hamilton County.
Current sponsors include: Pinnacle Sponsors: Spencer Farm, and Pillar Sponsors: Gaylor Electric, Inc, Exemplar Construction Services, Kinsey Flooring, Always In Stitches, and Community Health Network. Our print media sponsor is Carmel Magazine, Collective Publishing, Fishers.
Sponsorships are still available in multiple categories, including: Event Sponsor $8,000, Pinnacle Sponsor $4,000, Pillar Sponsor $2,000, Platform Sponsor $ 1,000 and Partner $500. Sponsors can easily register online: www.gsnlive.org/festival-of-trees.
Interested designers should contact Kim Harden, Event Coordinator, or the GSN office, or sign-up online.
For more Festival of Trees information and details, visit our website: www.gsnlive.org/festival-of-trees or contact: Kim Harden, Festival of Trees, Event Coordinator, email@example.com; or Nancy Chance, Good Samaritan Network, Founder/Executive Director, 317.842.2603, firstname.lastname@example.org