<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Barb Schmitz of the Houston County Food Shelf (left) and Jill Hahn (right) of Care & Share each received checks for their organizations from Festival of Trees committee member Bethany Moen (center).


Barb Schmitz of the Houston County Food Shelf (left) and Jill Hahn (right) of Care & Share each received checks for their organizations from Festival of Trees committee member Bethany Moen (center).
It has become a tradition in Houston County to start the holiday season with the festive Festival of Trees. Each year the Fest Building in Spring Grove is transformed into a new and spectacular Christmas wonderland. This year, stepping into the Fest Building was a child's delight as it appeared one was stepping into the magical world of a Dr. Seuss story books.

Not only does the Festival of Trees bring holiday spirit to those that attend, but the giving goes even farther as the proceeds from the event benefit many in the Houston County area through the Care and Share program and the Houston County Food Shelf plus other designated charities.

"We are excited to say that we out did last year's total," remarked Festival of Trees committee member Jacqui VanMinsel with a smile. "Our gross this year was, $27,212.82. That is $2,561 over last year!" This total does not include matching funds for a portion of the funds raised from Thrivent Financial.

The checks were presented last week to the Houston County Food Shelf for $8,091.94 and to Care and Share for $7,891.94. Other designated charities at the auction received $641.87.

The Houston County Festival of Trees is run completely by volunteers. They encourage people to be involved in the planning, organizing, and the big task of decorating; helping in a big or small way is very appreciated and helps make the event a success. Anyone interested in being a part of this great event that benefits so many can contact Jacqui VanMinsel at (507) 498-3456 or Bethany Moen at (507) 498-5505.