1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa Announces: 2018 “Christmas Forest” Winners
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 10 years this forest has now harvested nearly $50,000 in local area 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, around 30 or more 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 Imagination Library in first place with $3,830 in votes, OARS (Ozark AIDS Resources & Services) in second place with $2,344, and Project Self Esteem in third place with $1,022.
“Twenty-nine other charities received honorable mention recognition,” said Mary Howze, the hotel’s activities director. “They include American Diabetes Association, Autism Speaks, Camp No Limits, Carroll County Music Group, Clear Spring School, Creative Minds of St. James, Dobby Drive, Dyslexia, ECHO (Eureka Christian Health Outreach), Eureka Springs Boy Scouts, Eureka Springs Community Center, Flint Street Food Bank, Good Shepherd Humane Society, Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce, Heart of Many Ways, Heifer International, Jeremiah House, Loaves & Fishes, Main Stage, Main Street Eureka Springs, Melonlite Teen Perform, National Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy of Arkansas, NWA Sheep Dog Impact, PEO Sisterhood, People Helping People, Preservation Society, 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 area charities netted a Christmas present of $10,270 which pushed our ten-year total to more than $50,000. Ya see, sometimes money really does grow on trees.”