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Rotary Club of Oak Park-River Forest Launches New Holiday Tradition With Festival of Trees

Festival of Trees is from Nov. 29th through Dec. 1st at Holley Court Terrace in Downtown Oak Park.
Festival of Trees is from Nov. 29th through Dec. 1st at Holley Court Terrace in Downtown Oak Park.

For some people, the day after Thanksgiving is all about Black Friday, which ushers in a period of heavy holiday shopping.

But a highly regarded civic organization is adding a new philanthropic holiday tradition to the mix this year: the Festival of Trees. From Friday, Nov. 29th through Sunday, Dec. 1st, the Rotary Club of Oak Park-River Forest is launching the festival at Holley Court Terrace, 1111 Ontario St. in Downtown Oak Park.

The festival is from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Money raised through the event will go toward the Rotary Club’s local and international service projects as well as about 20 community organizations participating in the effort.

At the center of the family-friendly event are beautifully trimmed holiday trees. Rounding out the occasion are festive wreaths and table-scapes as well as holiday music and refreshments.

“This is truly a special collaborative effort,” said Kathryn Beedle, the business development director at Holley Court Terrace and the event co-chair. “Community groups and non-profit organizations are decorating the holiday trees that will be auctioned off, as well as sharing in the fundraising efforts.”

The following are the organizations involved in and which benefit from the festival:

Ernest Hemingway Foundation, Grace Episcopal Church, Hephzibah, Historical Society of Oak Park-River Forest, Institute for Science Education & Technology, PING!, Oak Park and River Forest Townships, Lions Club of Oak Park-River Forest, Opportunity Knocks, Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce, Sarah's Inn, Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, Oak Park-River Forest Day Nursery, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Oak Park Regional Housing Center, St. Luke School, Senior Citizens Center of Oak Park-River Forest, Triton College, and West Suburban Montessori School.

Festival of Trees has three key sponsors: Holley Court Terrace, Community Bank of Oak Park-River Forest, and Forest Park National Bank and Trust. In addition, student volunteers from Triton College will help the event run smoothly.

Tickets, which can be purchased at the door, are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children 12 and under, with a $15 family maximum.

For more information, visit www.oprfrotary.clubexpress.com or contact co-chairs Kathryn Beedle at 708-383-1111, or Lesley Gottlinger at 708-366-2821 or 708-751-2821.

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