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Christmas trees have begun to flourish around downtown Mount Pleasant and this could only mean one thing — the Festival of the Trees is back after the disappearance of almost a decade.
As part of the Dickens Christmas Festival’s 20th anniversary, United Way of Isabella County has brought back the Festival of the Trees, which will support the Adopt-a-Family Holiday Wishes Program.
“Many local families struggle to meet their most basic needs throughout the year, making it difficult or virtually impossible to do something extra during the holidays,” Tom Olver, president and CEO of United Way of Isabella County, said. “The Adopt-a-Family Holiday Wishes program helps to bridge that gap by connecting community sponsors who want to share the joy of the season, with hardworking families who would otherwise go without.”
Thirty local businesses are currently displaying their Christmas tree designs downtown through Dec. 8, with all trees being auctioned off through a silent bidding process located on United Way’s website.
Motorless Motion, a bicycle store located at 121 S. Main St., has displayed a bike themed tree. While the Off-Broadway Performing Arts Studio on 118 S. Washington St., exhibits a pink tree.
“The best part about the Festival of the Trees is watching the community rally together to help make some needs and wants come true for the families in need in Isabella County,” Andrew Brown, the student campaign chair for United Way of Isabella County, said.
The Adopt-a-Family program is receiving support from Central Michigan University in the form of participation and donations.
“CMU contributes to the lives of others in many ways. Services are part of our identity,” Brown said. “To know that over 60 CMU groups are helping families in need in Isabella County warms my heart.”
This year the Adopt-a-Family program, through donations, sponsors and volunteers, is helping helping holiday miracles come true to over 135 families.
“After just overcoming cancer surgery and my husband leaving us, it has not been an easy ride,” one adopted family said. “I did not have any means to get he kids any items this year and you made this all possible for us. Thank you for everything and Merry Christmas to you all.”
A complete list of trees, a walking map and the list of sponsors can be found on United Way of Isabella County’s website.
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