The Giving Trees: Giving back to our community

Special to The Log
Fruits of The Season was donated by Edible Arrangements of Fort Walton Beach and designed by Donna Tashik and Brandy Hart.

Saturday, Dec. 1, marked the first event of its kind on the Emerald Coast. Horizons of Okaloosa County, in conjunction with the Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center, hosted The Giving Trees in the HarborView Room at HarborWalk Village. Twelve trees and more than 15 wreaths were donated by companies and decorated by volunteer guest designers to make for not only an eye-catching, beautiful Christmas display, but a great fundraiser for these two local non-profits.

The trees ranged in style from the traditional Christmas, complete with bikes, a resort stay at Emerald Grande and fishing trips, to the more unconventional, including spa packages, mystery boxes full of advertising opportunities, linoleum flooring and patio furniture. Guests were encouraged to bid on these trees and wreaths while enjoying complimentary champagne and hors d'oeuvres from the culinary staff at Emerald Grande and live entertainment by local favorite Jones & Company. More than 100 volunteers and numerous military personnel assisted with the set-up, breakdown and delivery of these trees. The event raised $5,600 and is something that Donna Tashik, foundation advisor for Horizons of Okaloosa County, hopes to make an annual event.

"We feel we have laid the foundation for an annual, much anticipated Christmas event that has been needed in the community, and that will raise a great deal of money for these two local charities." Thank you to all of the community businesses that sponsored trees and donated to this great event: Century 21, Beach Community Bank, Edible Arrangements, Beauty Careers, CCB Community Bank, Your Personal Consultants, Act4Murder, Proffitt PR, Monark Events, Merrill Lynch, The McGovern Group and Hub City Ford.