Sarah Bush to host annual tree festival

Tiffany Wayne, Staff Reporter

Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center will be hosting the 17th annual Festival of Trees at 6 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday at the Lumpkin Family Center for Health Education at the hospital.

The festivities hosted on Friday and Saturday will be $3, and children 12 and under get free admission.

The purpose of the Festival of Trees is to raise money for local charities; at the hospital it is centered on 30 decorated Christmas trees.

Kim Lockart, the festival of trees event coordinator, said it is a way to help fund the hospital programs and is the hospital’s biggest event of the year.

Lockhart said as the years went on, the event became a fundraiser for programs that are in primary need; she said the hospital is in the middle of a three-year campaign to raise money for its regional cancer center.

“Last year we surpassed our net proceeds by $100,000. We are hoping to do that again this year,” Lockhart said.

The Merry Marketplace will have holiday decorations, word signs and mittens, and community members can buy the scarves on sale during the weekend, according to the hospital’s website.

Flesor’s handmade candies will also be available on Saturday during a live auction at the evening gala.

“Cookies with Claus,” an event for children, will be at 3 p.m. on Friday and at 10 a.m. on Saturday; the event will include cookies, face painting and a chance to take a photo with Santa.

“Friends Night out” will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, and a $10 admission ticket will allow guests to receive a free signature drink, bid on silent auction items and view the holiday-decorated education center before the rest of the public on Friday.

People may purchase tickets by calling 217-258-2511.

The Festival of Trees will also have a live auction and gala featuring full-size trees and wreaths that have been donated and designed by local businesses and community members.

Musical performances will be played throughout the weekend to celebrate the holidays in the community.

The musical performances will showcase people in the Charleston and Mattoon community.

Music will include local pianists, vocalists, a barbershop quartet as well as the Charleston High School, Charleston Middle School and Charleston Elementary School choir.

Attendees will have the opportunity donate to the community’s hospice organization and help other programs in the county area such as Grant-A-Wish, Bereavement Programs, Assistance To Those Without Resources, and the Veteran Outreach Program.


Tiffany Wayne can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]