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Schools support ‘Fantasy of Trees’


Several local schools are participating in East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s “Fantasy of Trees Adopt-A-Tree” program this year.

Students from Cedar Bluff Primary School, Christian Academy of Knoxville and The Episcopal School of Knoxville are joining more than 50 other Knoxville schools and youth organizations in decorating trees with handmade ornaments for auction at the event.

Seth Linkous, marketing representative for ETCH, said, “Each year at the “Fantasy of trees” the Adopt-A-Tree program showcases the creativity of area children. Students create hand-made ornaments and decorations for their school or group’s tree.”

The trees come in 7-feet and 4–feet sizes.

ESK art teacher Marie Gibson said ESK has been participating in the event for 10 years.

“The second year this school opened we did a tree and this our 11th year [of school].


“Each year it is something different and we are pretty known for coming up with some unusual ideas,” she added.

“We have had a bird tree and a Celtic tree. We did ‘The House that Jack Built,’ which was one of my favorites, we did ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas,’ and last year we did ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors.’”

This year ESK is decorating its tree with food.

“Of course we can’t put real food on the tree, but we are making all kinds of food,” Gibson said.

“We have one tree for the whole school and we have kindergarten through eighthgrade doing something. Second-grade made ice cream cones and fifth-grade is making hamburgers, we have pizza slices for our kindergartners — we have all kinds of stuff,” she added.

Gibson said the project is a good way to get students involved in community service.

“I tell them they are doing this as a gift and it is something we do for other people, as a community service,” she added.

Linkous said the Adopt-A-Tree program is a fan favorite and many of the trees are sold before the event even opens to the public.

“They start out with a gala the night before. There is a lot of good fund-raising that goes on at the gala and a lot of the trees get sold that night. If they do not get sold that night, The Fantasy of Trees opens up to the public and we usually get our tree sold,” Gibson said.

“There has been about three or four years when a parent has bought our tree and returned it to our school, which is really nice,” she added.

“Fantasy of Trees” has become an ETCH tradition and this year marks its 24th year.

All proceeds from the event benefit ETCH.

Last year’s event raised more than $380,000 and overall in the last 23 years more than $4 million has been raised.

Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 4-12. Children under 4 are free.

For more information on “Fantasy of Trees,” visit www.etch.com/fantasy.cfm or call 865-541-8385.

 

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