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Festival of Trees Kicks Off Holiday Season

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Celebrate the start of the holidays with shopping, entertainment and the chance to view 40 fabulous Christmas trees.

The 2002 annual Festival of Trees, benefiting Brenner Children’s Hospital & Health Services, will be held at the Education Building on the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds on Saturday Nov. 23 from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Sunday, November 24 from noon until 5 p.m. The Jingle Bell Jaunt preview party kicks off the festivities on Friday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. Proceeds from the event support programs and services at Brenner Children’s Hospital, part of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Brenner Children’s Hospital provides a full range of health services for children from birth to 21.

“This year marks the 14th anniversary of the Festival of Trees,” said Susan Kennedy, Director of Annual Support and Special Projects at Brenner Children’s Hospital. “Because of the festival’s success, Brenner Children’s Hospital has received ongoing support for programs such as Outrageous Courageous Kids, home visitation and support groups for patients and parents.”

The highlight of the festival is the 40 large theme-trees decorated by local garden clubs, interior designers and friends of Brenner Children’s Hospital. The trees are pre-sold to businesses and individual buyers.

“Every year, the trees are a delightful feast for the eyes,” said Leigh Ann Woodruff, 2002 Festival of Trees chairwoman. “This year, we have such fun themes as Birdhouse Rock, Beadazzled and Frosty’s Peppermint Paradise. JoAnne’s Angels, the women who brought us ‘When I’m an Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple’ last year, are revving it up a notch with a ‘NASCAR’ tree this year. We expect that one to be an attraction!”

Because the festival benefits children, a special Santa’s Breakfast will be held on Saturday morning, beginning at 9 a.m. with free doughnuts and bagels. Santa Claus will hear everyone’s Christmas wish list, and his elf will take photos. Children can make crafts, work off excess energy on the Salem Gymnastics Tumble Bus, or enjoy parachute time, musical instruments, bubbles, puppets and more with Gymboree Play and Music.

“We believe strongly in the mission of Brenner Children’s Hospital and its service to this community,” says Sara Stoeppelwerth, director of Gymboree. “We want to be a part of helping Brenner’s grow, and we want to expose as many children as possible to the learning benefits of our program—the Festival of Trees is a wonderful way to do that.”

The festival will have a wide range of vendors with a lovely assortment of gifts. Simply Sterling, Southern Living at Home, Frolic and It’s Mine! Mine! Mine! are a few of the exciting shopping possibilities. Shoppers will also be able to bid on imaginative gingerbread houses, which will be up for silent auction in the magical, snowy Gingerbread Village. In addition, there are beautifully decorated miniature trees and wreaths available for purchase.

For those non-shoppers who just want to relax and enjoy the holiday atmosphere, entertainment will be provided throughout the weekend, including Southeast Middle School Chorus and West End Ringers. Admission to the Festival of Trees is $4 for adults, free admission for children under 12. There is a $3 charge to enter the children’s activities area. Admission to the Jingle Bell Jaunt is $40. Raffle tickets will be sold for $5 each or five for $20, with prizes ranging from jewelry to children’s furniture.

For more information on the Festival of Trees or to purchase advance tickets or raffle tickets, contact Miley Burnett at 716-7985.

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Contact: Miley Burnett, 716-7985.

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