FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa Announces
2016 “Christmas Forest” Winners
(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) — The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa is all about tradition. One tradition that started in 2008 as part of the 7th Annual Christmas At The Crescent Celebration was the “growing” of the “Christmas Forest”, an effort to raise money for local and area charities. In the past eight years this forest has harvested $27,002.60 in charitable contributions.
“This town, this region, this state have provided such a wonderful environment for our hotel’s success, it is only right that we, the Crescent and Basin Park Hotels, always give something back. It is our way of saying, ‘Thank you.’” said Jack Moyer, general manager of both properties. “It was a win-win proposition. We had our mountaintop covered in lighted Christmas trees beautifully decorated by local citizens and employees which created a magical setting through which couples and families could stroll and be immersed in the holiday spirit of decoration and giving. And, it gave those who enjoyed the forest an opportunity to say ‘Merry Christmas’ with donations to a charity whose tree they liked the best.”
“The concept is quite simple,” Moyer explained. “On or about Thanksgiving each year, we purchase plus have donated, like from our very own Sunfest Grocery Store, around 30 real evergreen trees. The hotel places them on our property adorning each with lights. Charities then come in, usually represented in part by one or more of our employees, and decorate their tree as festively as possible. And what an amazing job they do each year. The trees are absolutely gorgeous.
“We illuminate the Christmas Forest on the first Saturday night in December. From that day thru December 31, those who come to the forest and wish to ‘vote’ for their favorite tree do so by dropping in the ‘ballot box’ one dollar for each vote they would like to cast. On New Year’s Day, the votes are counted. Each charity gets all of their ‘votes’ plus the Crescent kicks in cash prizes for the top three vote getters, $200, $100, and $50, respectively, and an honorable mention donation of $25 to all of the other charities. Shortly thereafter the stripped trees are donated to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge where they become ‘cat toys’ for their big cats.”
Those charities that took top honors this year are OARS (Ozark AIDS Resources & Services) in first place with $1,376 in votes, Arkansas Children’s Hospital in second place with $1,349, and Good Shepherd Humane Society in third place with $178.
“Twenty-six other charities received honorable mention recognition,” said Mary Howze, the hotel’s activities director. “They include Autism Speaks, Bereaved Parents of USA-NWA Chapter, Berryville Elementary Nurses Program, Camp No Limits, Carroll County Music Group, Christy Davis, Clear Spring School, ECHO (Eureka Christian Health Outreach), Eureka Springs Boy Scouts, Eureka Springs Downtown Network, Eureka Springs School of Arts, Flint Street Food Bank, Food Not Bombs, Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce, Heifer International, Holiday Island Fire Department, Jeremiah House, Loaves & Fishes, Main Stage, Mercy Hospice-NWA Chapter, Operation Smile, Preservation Society, Project Self Esteem, The Ozarks Chorale, The Purple Flower, and Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.”
“This was yet another record year for donations,” Moyer concluded. “With all of the votes added to our additional cash prizes, local and area charities netted a Christmas present of $4,657 which pushed our eight year total to more than $27,000. Ya see, sometimes money really does grow on trees.”