2016 “Christmas Forest” Winners Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa Announces

2016 “Christmas Forest” Winners

 

C'mas At Crescent 2016 _ Forest Illumination _ 5x7 _ 300

 

 

(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.”

END

A Forest of Christmas Trees Glows High Above The Ozarks

(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) – In one of the highest points in all of the Arkansas Ozarks sits a mountaintop spa resort that was built back in 1886.  The hotel is surrounded by 15 acres of forestland crisscrossed with walking trails and manicured gardens adjacent to the four-story, limestone structure.  It is here in these manicured gardens that every December for the past six years that well-decorated, illuminated Christmas trees seem to spring up.

The 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa’s “Christmas Forest” is one of the most popular events each year of the hotel’s holiday.  The hotel’s Director of Marketing and Communications Bill Ott explains, “Our Christmas Forest was the idea of our General Manager Jack Moyer six years ago.  It is a concept that started with a dozen trees and in 2011 saw the forest grow to 30.”

The concept is a simple one.  Each tree is decorated by and for a local area charity.  Following a grand forest illumination ceremony, the forest opens to the public.  Then from that evening through New Year’s Eve, visitors to the forest can “vote” for their favorite tree.  Each vote costs one dollar.  At the end of the voting period, the “ballots” are added up.  Each charity’s tree gets to keep all the monetary “votes” each received.  The top three vote-getting charities get to not only keep their “ballots” but The Crescent awards $200, $100, and $50, respectively.

Those charities represented in the 2011 forest are Matter of Trust, Aveda’s Earth, Toys For Tots, Eureka Springs Historical Museum, OARS, Good Shepherd Humane Society, St. John’s Hospice, People Helping People, Heifer International, ECHO, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Ozarks Chorale, Eureka Springs Downtown Network, Eureka Springs Boy Scouts, Eureka Springs Public Schools, Clear Spring School, Eureka Springs Rotary Club, Loaves & Fishes, Preservation Society, Flint Street Food Bank, Farmers’ Market, Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce, Eureka Springs Hospital, Merlin Foundation, W.T. Fockers, Salvation Army, CASE, Operation Smiles, Cello Choir, and Berryville Elementary Nursing Services.

“We only use real trees.  The hotel purchases the trees, put lights on each and then each individual charity decorates their own tree,” noted Moyer.  “It has become quite a decorating competition between the charities.  Not only do they work hard to make their trees the most beautiful, most unique, but each charity works hard to ‘get the vote out’.”

“Our Christmas Forest has become a community and regional draw during the holidays,” Ott added.  “And with the leaves off the abundant hardwood trees, our illuminated evergreen forest can be seen for miles.”

Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is a resort community located just 53 miles southwest of Branson, MO and 156 miles east of Tulsa, OK.  The 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa is a member of Historic Hotels of America and will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2011.

For more information on The Crescent’s “Christmas Forest”, one should contact the hotel’s Administrative Marketing Assistant Amanda Haley at <amanda.haley1@gmail.com>.