A Houston business donated more than $360 to Texas County Memorial Hospital Hospice of Care through its annual Christmas tree contest.

Shari McCallister, of D&L Florist, hosts the contest annually by decorating numerous trees in her shop with various themes for Christmas. Visitors 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 $365.14.

“Voting for a tree has become a family tradition for many,” McCallister said, explaining that grandchildren are brought in by their grandparents, mothers and daughters and groups of friends come in together.

The majority of the funds collected are small change, but many people vote with paper money, too. 

“There are quite a few one- and five-dollar bills and some 10s and 20s,” McCallister said. 

McCallister said the fundraising effort is a giving opportunity for many people that might not be asked to give to a local charity on a regular basis.

“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 the “purity tree,” a tree decorated with large white poinsettias, tiny white roses, snowflakes, doves and angels, was the winner of the 2018 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 $2,989 for Hospice of Care since the contest began.

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