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.”

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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.”