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Volunteers gather at the KHAKY office, Sunday, Nov. 28, a little past noon on Sunday. It's time to begin loading up the staging, undecorated Christmas trees, gift box items, auction items, decorations and supplies for the 24th annual Trees of Life. Once the truck is loaded, we are off to The Shops at Lexington Center to transform the area near the food court with holiday splendor!
The truck is unloaded and trees are unpacked and "fluffed" to be ready as the decorators arrive. The gift shop is set up, banners are hung, staging is arranged to display the decorated trees and the transformation begins. Decorators begin arriving and over the next 3 days will create their Christmas masterpieces. Final staging will be completed Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, Dec. 2, tables and chairs arrive for the Preview Party that evening. Guests have purchased tickets ($30 per person or $50 per couple) and are looking forward to a fun filled evening. Volunteers help arrange the tables, linens, and centerpieces. By 5:30PM the Culinary Club from Sullivan University begins to set up their tables to offer delicious hors d'oeuvres to the Preview Party guests. Volunteers arrange the auction items and bid sheets and prepare to receive guests. The band sets up on stage and warms up in anticipation. The evening will be one of food, fun, and fellowship as sponsors admire the trees and select the one to bear their company name. Guests register to bid on the silent auction items and volunteers greet guests, hand out programs, help with registration and monitor the auction item tables. At the close of the evening the tables and chairs are taken down and the area is prepared for the opening of the Trees of Life 2010.
On Friday morning, Dec. 3, at 10AM the Trees of Life open to the public with the trees on sale at the "buy it now" price or by silent auction that ends on Sunday at 8PM. Volunteers help greet guests, provide programs and information about the trees and KHAKY and assist in the gift shop Friday through Sunday evening. The gift shop offers unique and homemade holiday gifts and décor items. Browsing through the decorated trees and enjoying the entertainment is free and open to the public.
Saturday afternoon, Dec. 4, 3-7PM, A Kentucky Christmas will be held among the trees with a wide selection of Kentucky vendors offering perfect gift or holiday entertainment items. Volunteers will help set up vendor tables and the registration table where a sampling glass and 10 tickets will be available for $10 for guests to sample vendor selections. Live entertainment adds to the holiday atmosphere.
Sunday Funday, Dec. 5, is family fun time from 1PM - 3PM. Volunteers arrive at Noon to arrange Santa's corner, set up for pictures with Santa, prepare refreshments, and set up a craft corner and area for our face painting and other activities hosted by Sullivan University Early Childhood Development students. Live entertainment and special guests will make the afternoon a fun event for all involved.
The silent auction bidding on the trees ends at 5PM on Sunday afternoon as more entertainment helps close out the three day event.
On Monday morning, the trees for delivery will be wrapped and loaded. A delivery team will take purchased trees to their new homes throughout Lexington. Gift shop items will be packed away and the staging and decor will come down, be loaded into a truck and taken back to KHAKY until next year.