D&L Florist raised funds for TCMH Hospice of Care through its annual Christmas tree decorating contest. Pictured are, from left: Courtney Owens, Hospice of Care director; Shari McCallister, D&L Florist owner, Sandy Eaton, Hospice nurse; and Jay Gentry, TCMH Healthcare Foundation director.

An annual fundraising effort by a local florist raised more than $300 for Texas County Memorial Hospital Hospice of Care.

Shari McCallister, owner of D&L Florist, hosts the contest annually by decorating numerous trees in her shop with various themes for Christmas. Visitors to the store are asked to vote on their favorite tree with money. One penny counts for one vote, and all of the funds collected go to TCMH Hospice of Care. 

This year’s contest raised $323.78.

“The Hospice of Care team took care of my father, Doyle Sillyman, and it’s an honor to be able to give back to them through this contest each year,” McCallister said.

McCallister said voting is a family tradition for many as grandparents and grandchildren, friends and family members cast votes. The majority of the funds collected are small change, but many people vote with paper money, too. 

“There are quite a few one dollar bills, and some large bills, too,” McCallister said. 

McCallister said the “red bird and burlap tree” was the winner of the 2016 contest.

The funds collected will go into the Hospice of Care Fund managed by the TCMH Healthcare Foundation. The funds will be utilized locally to help provide end of life care for Hospice of Care patients and their families.

According to Jay Gentry, director of the TCMH Healthcare Foundation, the Christmas tree contest has raised $2,267 for Hospice of Care since it began in December 2007.

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