Crescent Hotel announces 2019 Christmas Forest winners

Friday, January 24, 2020
The Crescent Hotel held the Christmas Forest lighting ceremony in December, kicking off the Christmas season in Eureka springs.
Submitted photo

The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa is all about tradition.

One tradition that started in 2008 as part of the seventh annual Christmas at the Crescent Celebration was the growing of the Christmas Forest, an effort to raise money for local and area charities. In the past 11 years, this forest has harvested $43,483 in local area charitable contributions –– that’s more than $3,900 a year!

Executive vice president and general manager Jack Moyer said Eureka Springs has provided a wonderful environment for the hotels’ success.

“It is only right that we, the Crescent and Basin Park Hotels, always give something back. It is our way of saying, ‘Thank you,’ “ Moyer said. “It was a win-win proposition. We had our mountaintop covered in lighted Christmas trees beautifully decorated by local citizens and employees, which created a magical setting through which couples and families could stroll and be immersed in the holiday spirit of decorating and giving.”

Moyer added, “And it gave those who enjoyed the forest an opportunity to say ‘Merry Christmas’ with donations to a charity whose tree they liked the best.”

The concept is simple, Moyer said. He said the hotel places around 30 trees on the property on Thanksgiving every year, saying nonprofits come in and decorate the trees. The trees are lit on the first Saturday night in December, Moyer said, and stay that way until the end of the month. Those who wish to vote can do so by dropping $1 per vote in the ballot box. The votes are counted on New Year’s Day, Moyer said, and the top three nonprofits receive $200, $100 and $50, respectively, and the hotel makes an honorable mention donation of $25 to all remaining nonprofits. Shortly thereafter, Moyer said, the stripped trees are donated to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge where they become cat toys for the big cats.

Those nonprofits that took top honors this year are Imagination Library in first place, Granny Fund in second place and Eureka Springs Library in third place. Mary Howze, activities director for the hotel, said other nonprofits involved in the forest include Project Self-Esteem, Good Shepherd Humane Society’s Thrift Store, Heifer International, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Main Street Downtown Network, Eureka Springs Boy Scouts, Eureka Springs School of the Arts and many more.

“This was yet another record year for donations,” Moyer said. “With all of the votes added to our additional cash prizes, local area charities netted a 2019 Christmas present of $5,233. Ya see, sometimes money really does grow on trees.”

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