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Charities compete for tree donations

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Charity Christmas Tree Event (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A magnificent seven charity Christmas trees are locked in a stand-off to see which will be crowned the winner.

The charity, which comes top of the trees, will take away a $2,500 cheque to add to its funds and a further $1,500 is up for grabs for the winner of the people’s choice award.

Suzanne DeCouto, founder of the annual event, said: “It’s a good way of getting donations to the charities and it’s good to learn about the charities.

She added: “This year we have charities that focus on disabilities.”

The charities involved this year are Summerhaven, WindReach, Action on Alzheimers, Base, Committee of 25, Project 100 and Hope Academy.

Ms DeCouto said: “We try to change it up each year so that everyone gets a chance to participate.

“One year it was the PTAs at schools, one year it was seniors and one year it was sports clubs.

“We try to look more towards the little charities that don’t get the chance to fundraise.”

Ms DeCouto explained that the charities have already been given $500 for decorating a tree in Washington Mall.

She added: “You do whatever you want with the tree. You can put a message in there, you can explain about your charity — it’s totally up to you.”

Judges will decide who takes first, second and third place, and the winner will be announced next Monday.

The runner-up will receive $1,000 and a $750 prize will go to the third place.

Ms DeCouto said: “We also have the People’s Choice Award, which brings people into the mall to look at the trees.”

The winner of the people’s choice, which the public can vote for until Friday, will receive $1,500.

Ms DeCouto added: “The awards that are given are donations towards the actual charity.”

The trees were decorated on Monday and Ms DeCouto said the decorators did an “awesome job”.

She said: “The nice thing is people are getting together as a team and trying to collaborate and put this together, which is really nice.”

The event, now sponsored by insurance company Sun Life Financial, is in its fifth year.

Mall trees: seven charities have decorated trees (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Charity Christmas Tree Event (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Charity Christmas Tree Event. The Committee of 25 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)