Texas County Memorial Hospital Hospice of Care is the beneficiary of about $295 following this year’s Christmas tree contest hosted by D & L Florist in Houston.
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 with money. One penny counts for one vote, and all of the funds collected go to TCMH Hospice of Care.
“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 noted that 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 “travel tree,” a tree decorated with an ornament from each state within the United States was the winner of the 2019 contest, garnering the most votes.
The funds go to 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 about $3,182 for Hospice of Care since the contest began.