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Tradition returns with Festival of Trees in Morris

Festival of Trees to offer another year of seasonal fundraising

MORRIS – Among the relics of Grundy County past sit trees dainty and towering, wrapped with twinkling lights and adorned with ornaments vintage and new.

More than 100 wreaths and trees fill the Grundy County Historical Society Museum for the upcoming annual Festival of Trees fundraiser, which will take place Friday to Sunday in conjunction with the Morris Home for the Holidays event.

“There is something here for everyone no matter style or personality, and they all have nice unique ornaments,” Festival of Trees committee member Sandy Dransfeldt said.

Small trees top display cases, as larger trees and even a goat cart filled with greenery line the outside walls of the museum. The items will be up for silent auction or raffle in order to support the museum’s day-to-day operations, as well as much needed new space for storage.

“This event keeps our doors open. We want the minimum profit to be $10,000 after our expenses,” committee member JoEllyn Johnson said.

Johnson said the annual expenditures for the museum run about $39,500.

More than 50 volunteers, including those from schools and businesses, as well as Morris residents and museum board members, spent thousands of hours over the past year to shop after-Christmas sales, organize and decorate.

Trees offer themes such as sports, rustic cabin, natural, Victorian, whimsical, snowman, and children’s characters such as sock monkeys and elves. There are even trees with nostalgic family heirlooms attached.

Committee member Theresa Lamb said there are two new raffle items available this year that will be hot items. First is the newly released, popular toy item Hatchimals, and Lamb said the museum, along with Century 21 Coleman-Hornsby, donated a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Complete tablet.

As always, the tug of war between the John Deere and Farmall trees will run to see which tree brings in more money.

“If you came from a farming family it’s always Farmall vs. John Deere. They don’t mingle – you like one or the other,” Lamb said.

Items will be up for display, auction and raffle from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday. For information, call 815-942-4880.

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