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The Daily Tar Heel

Arc of Orange County hosts Festival of Trees fundraiser

The Arc of Orange County is working to connect the community and raise money through its third annual Festival of Trees.

The festival is being held at the Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel from Nov. 30 through Thursday.

The event allows companies throughout Orange County to decorate trees with descriptions of their services and donate items for ongoing auctions.

“The main reason we hold the event is because funding is limited,” said Robin Baker, executive director of the organization, which provides services to those with developmental disabilities. “Our signature fundraiser is the festival.

“This is a charitable event, but it’s also a marketing event.”

Baker said all proceeds from each event, including a gala, family night and a ladies night, benefit the organization. Last year’s silent auction brought in almost $8,000 to the group.

On Tuesday evening, families throughout the county gathered at the Sheraton to enjoy an evening with Santa Claus and holiday music.

“It’s a great event put on for a great cause,” said Orange County resident Laura White, whose child performed carols with Culbreth Middle School.

Michael Jones, director of the school’s chorus, said he and the students were excited to be a part of the event.

Residents can still enjoy the tree festival by attending a ladies’ night tonight and a gala Thursday. The latter will include a performance by Equinox Band, which features UNC’s Chancellor Holden Thorp and Terri Houston, senior director for diversity and multicultural programs.

Tickets are $50 per person or $80 per couple.

“We want it to be an event that is open to the public,” Baker said. “We’re hoping it will grow each year.”

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