More than 33,000 people attended Memorial’s 28th annual Festival of Trees, which raised $384,504 to fund health-related projects and programs at Memorial Health System and in the Springfield community.
The family friendly event continues to be a success because of the support of generous sponsors, talented designers, dedicated committee members and more than 1,000 volunteers who staff the nine-day event, said Amanda Johnson, event manager for the Memorial Medical Center Foundation.
“The results of Memorial’s 2017 Festival of Trees are very impressive. Not only did we set a record in how much we raised, we also saw an increase in sponsorships and we had a wait list for our design opportunities,” Johnson said. “The festival has become a tradition in many ways for people throughout central Illinois. They volunteer, they perform on the entertainment stage and they come out to enjoy the beautifully designed items and get into the holiday spirit. All the while helping us raise money for grants the Memorial Medical Center Foundation awards each spring.”
Memorial's Festival of Trees began in 1989 to benefit the mission of Memorial Medical Center. Since then, the festival has raised more than $4.9 million. Proceeds from Memorial’s Festival of Trees are used to fund grants focused on education, research, technology and patient care.
The 29th annual Festival of Trees will be Nov. 17-25. The Gala will be Saturday, Nov. 10. The theme will be “Holidays Through Our History” and will celebrate Illinois’ bicentennial.
Kathryn M. Harris is the honorary chair of Memorial’s 2018 Festival of Trees. Harris retired in 2015 as the library services director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, formerly the Illinois State Historical Library, after more than 25 years of service. She is the first woman and the first African-American to serve as the president of the Abraham Lincoln Association since its inception in 1909. Harris is a historical researcher and reenactor.