Festival of Trees

Prairie Hills prepares for the Festival of Trees auction, which will take place from Nov. 21 to Nov. 23 with bidding ending at 3 p.m.

OTTUMWA — Now that Halloween has passed, Prairie Hills is getting ready for the holiday season or, as Marketing Director Brenda Miller likes to say, “the season of giving.”

Miller said they are getting ready for the Festival of Trees silent auction, which will benefit Habitat for Humanity. All proceeds will go toward their next project.

The auction will take place from Nov. 21-23 with bidding ending at 3 p.m. From Nov. 1-20, Prairie Hills staff are accepting donations for the silent auction. Miller said residents can donate trees, wreaths, garlands or any type of holiday gift. Residents also have the option of volunteering to decorate the holiday items.

During the auction, residents can enjoy cookies and refreshments and look around for gifts in the “village shop.” Amidst the fun, Miller wants the auction to encourage others to help Habitat for Humanity.

“We want to benefit them,” she said. “We provide beautiful homes inside of Prairie Hills for seniors. They provide them for families. So we’re always excited when it comes time to be able to give to something that can provide a really nice home for somebody.”

Miller hopes for a successful turnout. She said organizing the auction can be stressful but is elated to see how people decorate the trees.

“It’s [exciting] seeing all of the creative things that people can do with Christmas trees, ” she said with a smile. I’m a Christmas person anyway, but throughout the building there’s going to be beautiful trees. Last year one was made of all porcelain dolls. One was completely made of elves with the bright colors and the bright greens that the elves would have on.”

Miller said they had a great turnout last year. She has already seen positive responses and is looking forward to seeing what the Christmas spirit will do this year.

“I think it brings the community together,” she said. “I think they can come out here and we can help them with decorations or whatever they want help with. The response from our businesses here in town has been great. Individuals have already donated three trees. It’s a good cause for people to come together.

All holiday items can be brought to Prairie Hills from Nov. 1-20. Interested in donating or decorating a tree? Contact Miller at 641-684-1871.

Chiara Romero can be reached at cromero@ottumwacourier.com.

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