|Museum prepares for annual tree decorating contest|
|November 25, 2010 Dawn Bowen Dawn Bowen/Gering Citizen|
Barb Netherland, director of the North Platte Valley Museum, adjusts an ornament on the patriotic Christmas tree decorated by members of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Katahdin Chapter of Scottsbluff/Gering.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the North Platte Valley Museum.
Members of local non-profit groups and service organizations have begun setting up and decorating Christmas trees for the sixth annual North Platte Valley Museum Christmas Tree Decorating Contest.
“This is a fund raiser for us and for the participating organizations and it’s just fun,” said museum Director Barb Netherland, adding that the number of trees has grown from around 15 the first year to nearly 30 last year. “It’s growing in popularity all the time. People just love to come in and see so many decorated trees.”
The participating organizations decorate an artificial Christmas tree in a theme that reflects the purpose or mission of their organization. For example, last year the Scotts Bluff County Volunteer Center decorated a tree with tiny sack lunches to represent the Meals on Wheels program and shopping carts to represent the organization’s Shopping for Seniors program.
Netherland said the Farm And Ranch Museum “always has a cute tree” and the Festival of Hope tree truly reflected the organization’s message of hope for cancer survivors. All of the trees, she said, are outstanding displays of creativity and imagination.
Netherland said some of the organizations have participated every year since the contest began and new organizations have expressed interest this year. “We’ve gotten quite a few calls from organizations that have never done this before,” she said.
Each organization brings its own artificial tree, decorations, an extension cord and a small table for displaying the group’s literature and information. They are asked to have their tree set up and decorated by Dec. 3.
On Dec. 4, the museum will kick off the annual contest and invite visitors and guests to pay $1 per “vote” for their favorite tree. Voting will continue until Dec. 23 when the votes are counted and the proceeds from each tree are shared equally between the participating organization and the museum.
During December, the museum is waiving its regular $3 admission fee. Netherland said she is encouraging everyone to come out to the museum and vote for their favorite tree or trees, as many times as they like. “We have a vote early, vote often mentality,” she said. “We’ll sell you as many votes as you want.”
In addition to splitting the proceeds for votes, the top three trees with the most votes will be awarded cash prizes of $100, $50 or $25 – all donated by H&R Block, the event’s sponsor.
This year’s decorated trees can be viewed during the museum’s special December hours – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Netherland says the annual tree decorating contest is a great way to generate goodwill in the community and to inspire children, families and employees to use their imagination and resources as they celebrate the joy of the holiday season.
For more information, call the museum at 436-5411.
Read more by Dawn Bowen