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Festival of Trees is this weekend

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
Now that Thanksgiving is over and you’re still trying to decide what to do with leftover turkey, the Arc/Rowan knows what will put people in the Christmas spirit.
The Festival of Trees will begin this week with decorations and the tree-viewing this weekend.
The event is Friday from 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m. at the F & M Trolley Barn, 127 E. Liberty St., Salisbury.
The event is free to the public.
Volunteers will begin setting up Wednesday and decorating Thursday.
“It’s an all day event,” said Executive Director Jane Jackman.
This is the sixth year of the Festival of Trees. It was six years ago that Arc/Rowan struggled to find a signature fundraising event, she said.
One of the board members made the Christmas tree suggestion, and everyone ran with it.
The event is the biggest fundraiser for Arc/Rowan, which provides advocacy for people with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities.
The trees are sponsored by local businesses and groups. Those sponsors then choose individuals to decorate the tree.
There are 50 trees this year. After this weekend’s event, those same trees will be carefully bagged up and taken to locations where they will stay throughout the Christmas holiday.
“We have committee people who move the trees. Those decorations are wired on and we have giant bags that are cinched up and those trees are delivered,” Jackman said.
What makes the event so special she said is that people can see the trees in the daytime and see the intricacies of each decoration then return at night to see it with lights.
“It’s been a wonderful event,” Jackman said.
Arc/Rowan advocates for people with developmental disabilities and help them navigate the system.
The agency began in 1954 and over the years has offered a variety of services including providing transportation for the disabled, group homes and vocational workshops and recently an apartment where clients live independently.
Corporate sponsors are Food Lion, Sara Lee, Rowan County United Way and F & M Bank.
Arc/Rowan is a United Way member agency.
For more information, call the Arc/Rowan at 704-637-1521.

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