Two-day event begins with public Christmas Tree Lane preview
The Sisters of St. Joseph will begin the holiday season with a new approach to two events that have become traditions at the Nazareth Motherhouse. At the heart of both events are the 15 decorated Christmas Tree Lane entries that benefit local nonprofit organizations.
The first event is a special Holiday Reception, set for 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4. The public is invited to stop by throughout the evening for live musical entertainment, refreshments, door prizes and a chance to chat with the sisters. This free evening provides a preview for Christmas Tree Lane and those attending will get the chance to vote on their favorite tree for a “People’s Choice Award.”
The second event is the ticket-only Christmas Tree Lane party and live auction set for the following evening — Friday, Dec. 5 — from 7 to 9 p.m. This event, now in its fourth year, showcases 15 Christmas trees decorated by local organizations and auctioned off that evening.
The 4½-foot artificial trees are provided to the organizations without charge, thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation for Cloud County.
Tickets are $25 per person and are available from any of the organizations taking part.
Parking is available in the new lot on the east side of the Motherhouse, and entry is through the new east door.
This year the sisters have created an online bidding site — www.csjkansas.org/online-bidding-page/ — where you can see photos of the trees and place bids before the live auction. Online bids will be accepted from Dec. 1 through 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5. The highest online bid on each tree will provide the starting bid when the live auction begins at 8 p.m. Friday. Dannie Kearn will be the auctioneer.
The organizations taking part this year are:
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Brown Grand Theatre
- Cloud County Community College Foundation
- Cloud County Community Resource Center
- Cloud County Health Center
- Cloud County Health Center Auxiliary
- Club 81 Youth Center
- Domestic Violence Association of Central Kansas (DVACK)
- Helping Hands program at Manna House of Prayer
- Motherhouse Heritage Room Preservation Project
- National Orphan Train Complex
- NCK Down Syndrome Society
- NCK Paws
- OCCK Inc.
- Relay for Life
All the money raised — including the winning bid for the tree, ticket sales for the Friday evening event and donations from both evenings — go to the individual organizations.
The idea behind Christmas Tree Lane, explained Sisters of St. Joseph development director Holly Brown, is to create a fun and entertaining way to support local charitable organizations. “Each winning bidder is making a donation that’s important to our community, and they get a beautiful tree as a prize,” she said. “This is really about giving to local charities so they can continue the good work they do every day.”