Thirteen local nonprofit organizations participated in the Dogwood Garden Club's fifth annual Festival of Trees competition on Saturday.
Trees were set up earlier this month in the halls of the Palestine Mall and left on display for the public to enjoy.
Each group participating was asked to depict its mission statement, purpose, description and/or themes and were judged on a scale of points.
“We would like to extend our thanks to Heather Hoad, florist for Brookshire Grocery Store, Tamara Hodge, florist for Kroger Food Store and Pat Curry, florist and owner of Flowers by Pat, for taking the time out of their busy schedules to judge this year's Festival of Trees,” said Linda Jean Brown, event chair. “They did an outstanding job rating the organization's trees.”
During Saturday's judging, first place went to Cars of Palestine for itsr lovely dogwood tree featuring hand crafted dogwood blooms made from toilet-tissue rolls, made to represent its community project “Potties in the Park.” Its mission was to raise money for bathrooms in Davey Dogwood Park.
Second place when to the Code Enforcement Division City of Palestine for its Nuisance Tree. The tree was decorated with an array of trash and debris, brush, junk vehicles, tall weeds and grass, illegal dump sites, house numbers, swimming pools and rodent harborage to represents issues that affect the quality of life here in our community.
Third place went to Christian Heritage Academy's tree of “hope.”
According to the tree's description, the element of cascading ribbon represents the ebb and flow of life, while the fish swimming around the tree represent people making their way through life. Christian faith is represented by the handmade origami sailboats, as they go out into the flow of life and share the hope of salvation. Each sailboat is equipped with an anchor, which is the word of God. The anchor of hope is a secure and steadfast love from our Jesus Christ, never changing, always true.
Fourth place went to Meals on Wheels for its tree that featured the various centers and the many miles of roads traveled by its volunteers for numerous meal deliveries made to area senior citizens.
Awards of Merit went to the Grapeland Garden Club, for its “Christmas in the Pines” tree made as an example of “Reducing, Reusing and Recycling,” Living Alternatives of Palestine's “Is it a boy, or girl?” baby-themed tree and the Crisis Center of Anderson and Cherokee counties for its ombre colored tree that represents the transition of its clients from arrival and throughout their healing process.
Andrew Gregory, general manager of Ben E. Keith Beverages, generously underwrote the cash prizes awarded to the top winners.
A total of $2,000 was distributed among the seven top chosen trees.
The members of the Dogwood Garden Club of Palestine have been beautifying Palestine and Anderson County for the past 75 years.
This event wraps up the club's 2016 projects.
The Dogwood Garden Club invites everyone to stop by and check out the creativity and uniqueness of these trees and the volunteers who came up with the ideas.