Crescent Hotel Christmas Forest Winners

1886 Crescent Hotel’s “Christmas Forest” Nets Local Charities $3565

The annual “Christmas Forest” of the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa has netted local charities here $3,565 in donations thanks to a combination of one-dollar “votes” and cash prizes.  Twenty-five charities participated with OARS (Ozark AIDS Resource Services) garnering the most “votes”, $588, to become the winning tree for 2012.  Second and third place vote getters were Friends of RoAnna with $475 and Arkansas Children’s Hospital with $332.

A “vote” came in the form of a one-dollar donation placed in a collection “ballot” box that was on-site at the forest.  After visitors walked through the forest during the month of December they were encouraged to write the name of their favorite tree on a little envelope placing their “votes” inside.

Other charities represented in the 2012 forest were American Veterans Association, Autism Speaks, Berryville Elementary Nurses Program, Born This Way, Brighton Ridge Residents’ Activity Fund, Carroll County Literacy Council, Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce, Clear Spring School, ECHO, Eureka Springs Boy Scouts, Eureka Springs Downtown Network, Flint Street Food Bank, Good Shepherd Humane Society, Heifer International, Loaves & Fishes, Our House, Ozarks Chorale, Project Self-Esteem, St. John’s Hospice, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Womenade, and Wounded Soldiers.

Each year, the Crescent Hotel supplies the trees, the lights and the prize money.  All participants get to keep all of their “votes” plus the top three “vote” getters receive an additional $200 for first prize, $150 for second prize, and $100 for third prize.  The Crescent also awards every non-winning charity a $25 “honorable mention” donation.

“What a wonderful addition to Eureka’s holiday season,” said Mary Howze, hotel activities coordinator, “and a real win-win situation.  Visitors to and residents of Eureka Springs get to see a beautiful garden filled with lavishly decorated holiday trees and local charities receive donations.

“And this year’s forest has another winner, too.  All of our trees, after the lights and decorations were removed, were given to the Table Rock Fish Habitat where they will supply underwater cover for our finny friends.”

Howze concluded by saying, “Our next Christmas Forest will be our eighth.  Each 2013 tree will be decorated and ready for voting following our gala illumination ceremony the first Saturday in December with the ‘polls’ closing again at midnight on New Year’s Eve.”