Festival of Trees Winner Announced
Dec. 8, 2010 — No one could say the Niles Fire Department doesn't know how to respond. This time it was to donate food for needy families serviced by the Maine Township Emergency Food Pantry. After several weeks of friendly competition, the Niles Fire Department was declared the winner on December 4 of the "Then & Now" Festival of Trees held at Golf Mill Shopping Center.
Starting with a visit from Santa at a lighting ceremony, visitors to the Center could vote for their favorite decorated trees from 10 non-profit organizations on display. Voting was counted for each item donated to the Food Pantry. The Fire Department amassed 1295 items. The Niles Police Department was a very close second followed by St. Matthew's Church and School.
"In all, nearly 3900 items were donated to our pantry," declared Maine Township Supervisor Carol Teschky. "This wonderful effort by Golf Mill completely exceeded our expectations and hopes. Thank you to all who participated and voted."
The Fire Department will be awarded a commemorative trophy provided by Maine Township and a $100 gift card from Sears Department Store. Most of the decorated trees will remain on display at Golf Mill through Christmas. The Festival of Trees was part of the shopping center celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Phil Felice of St. Matthew's Church said, "Many folks can be served with the amount of food collected. The true winners are those in need in the community who will get helped."
Sponsors of the event included Maine Township, Cinnabon, Journal & Topics Newspapers, The Home Depot, Patch.com, and Golf Mill Shopping Center.
"This was a really fun event that will help stock the Maine Township Food Pantry and feed hungry families in these tough economic times," said Teschky. "The pantry serves an average of nearly 300 families per month throughout the year and even more during holiday periods but the demand never ends," she adds.
The Center's Facebook page contains many photos and other information. For details on other holiday activities, contact the Golf Mill Management Office at 847-699-1070.