GSU Festival of Trees to benefit Christmas project

By Dal Cannady - bio | email

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - A new holiday tradition at Georgia Southern University will benefit a program that provides Christmas toys to needy children in Statesboro and Bulloch County.

The Festival of Trees, hosted by the university's College of Continuing Education, will help the Christmas in the 'Boro project. That program has teamed Statesboro Police, Bulloch County Sheriff's Office, Wal-Mart, and the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.

Local businesses and groups added their unique touches to decorate dozens of Christmas trees. Visitors can see the trees between now and Friday evening, purchase tickets and drop the tickets in a box next to their favorite tree or trees.

Saturday night, organizers will draw winners for each tree from those boxes to wrap up a day-long holiday festival.

"Santa and Mrs. Claus will be here, we'll have hot chocolate as well as 18 local vendors," explained Continuing Education's Charlotte Woody.

Proceeds will go toward Christmas in the 'Boro and its organizers are grateful.

"This event has grown over the last couple of years to become huge," noted Tina Childers of Statesboro Police.

Childers said the group has already identified 100-150 needy families to help for Christmas and they're still adding.

The Festival of Trees culminates November 20 from 11am to 6pm at the Nessmith-Lane Center on Chandler Road.

Copyright 2010 WTOC. All rights reserved.