The Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center presented the 4th Annual Festival of Trees from Nov 16th through Dec 8th. The 13 participating Non –Profits decorated the gently used trees with their themes. Quite a few trees had goodies attached such as coffee cards, jackets, tickets to Kenai River Brown Bear hockey games, wall quilts, and Grant Aviation tickets. Over the past 3 weeks, the trees were up for bid via silent auction or awarded a winner via the stocking raffle. Winners were announced at the closing reception Dec 8th and 2-year-old Charlotte Scanlon of Kenai assisted Kenai Chamber executive director Johna Beech in drawing the winners of the raffle trees. “It was so great to win a tree. I didn’t have to unpack any decorations the guys from SBS brought the tree to my house and it was instantly Christmas with no muss or fuss plus knowing I helped the Food Bank made it even more like Christmas; the season of giving and receiving,” said Penny Furnish of Stewart Title and past Kenai Chamber president.
During the closing reception, the Non-profits were given an opportunity to speak about their mission and the services they provide to the community, while the 50 some folks who turned out for the event enjoyed hot coffee or cider with cookies. The sounds of the season were provided by the Kenai Central High School band under the direction of Debra Sonart. “Spenard Builders Supply of Kenai generously donated their time and manpower to delivering these decorated trees to the winners. That is one of the great things about the Festival of Trees; the winner gets the tree, still decorated, in plenty of time to enjoy it for the Christmas Season. This year’s tree auction brought in over $2,000 that will be split 50% with the Non-profit and 50% to KCCVC. Thanks to all who participated in this holiday giving and receiving tradition,” said Johna Beech. This year’s participating non-profit organizations were: Pi Chapter Beta Sigma Phi, Skyview Swim Team, KCCVC Saturday Market, Kenai Peninsula 4-H, Horses & Livestock Unlimited 4-H, American Legion, Kenai River Brown Bears, Regroup Reuse Recycle, Matti’s Farm, Kenai Watershed Forum, Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, Peninsula Art Guild and the Kenai Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center.