Kicking off the holiday season

YWCA's "Festival of Trees" returns

The YWCA of Sweetwater County's annual Festival of Trees event has returned again this year, giving everyone the chance to purchase trees and holiday decor and simultaneously support the YWCA and the services it offers.

"We always enjoy kicking off the holiday season with our community, and this is seriously such a fun way to get into the spirit," Kayla Mannikko, the YWCA's Developmental Director, said in a press release.

Uniquely decorated Christmas trees currently line the lobby of Commerce Bank, and the public can stop in to view them any time the bank is open. There are also holiday decor baskets, wreaths, and small table-top trees available through a silent auction, which can be viewed in person or online at

"There is something for everyone at this event," Mannikko said. "There are full-size trees for those looking for a change this Christmas. Remember, it is fully decorated for you to just place in your home! There are kid's baskets, holiday décor and gift baskets, and so much more! Even if you just want to look, come down and vote for your favorite tree for the 'People's Choice' award."

A reception and live auction will be hosted at 6 p.m. on November 30 for the full-size trees.

"If you are the top bidder, then we will help you load your tree up and one part of your Christmas decorating is done!" Mannikko said.

The Festival of Trees is one of the YWCA's main fundraisers, and the profits help support the organization throughout the year.

"Your support of YWCA will help hundreds of families in Sweetwater County receive important services," Mannikko explained. "YWCA provides assistance to families at all stages in their lives, through good and bad times."

Services provided by the YWCA include quality childcare, kindergarten readiness, free financial empowerment classes to the community, and advocate services to victims of many forms of violence including human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault.

"We encourage everyone to stay safe and healthy this holiday season, but don't forget to help spread a little holiday cheer," Mannikko said.


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