Festival of Trees is gearing up

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute has announced its annual hallmark fundraiser, the Festival of Trees, has become an activity-packed, five-day festival for the entire family to enjoy.

festival of trees

CCMIs 2008 Festival of Trees is now a five day event. Shown from left are Nikki Callender and Susanna de Saram of Camana Bay and Kellie Shoemaker and Leslie Bergstrom of CCMIs Festival of Trees planning committee. Photo: Submitted

‘We have so many new partners on board to make sure this festival is entertaining for the public as well as raising funds for the various initiatives that CCMI is spearheading for the 2009 season’, comments Chair of the Fundraising Committee Leslie Bergstrom.

Joining the long time major sponsor, Ristorante Pappagallo will be new sponsors Camana Bay, Uncle Bill’s, Celebrations and Abacus restaurant. Camana Bay will host many of the community events prior to the dinner and live auction.

Uncle Bill’s will donate the majority of the trees that will be decorated by volunteers.

Celebrations will host The Art of Stylish Christmas Décor – a decorating showcase – and Abacus restaurant will host the VIP PreVue party to kick of the 2008 Festival of Trees.

The Festival of Trees will start at Camana Bay on Monday, 17 November, and continue every day until the Friday, 21 November dinner and live auction at Ristorante Pappagallo. A detailed schedule of events will be announced in the coming weeks.

‘We are very pleased to help CCMI bring their concept to the general public and share this wonderful event with the entire community,’ comments Communications Manager from Camana Bay Susanna de Saram. ‘Christmas is a very special time of year and we are keen to help showcase the beautifully decorated trees to all interested in stopping by.’

The planning committee, now consisting in excess of 20 volunteers, are enthusiastically collecting donations, gift certificates, prizes and other contributions that will help make the 2008 Festival of Trees an annual event that the entire community will look forward to from year to year.

Companies and individuals are encouraged to show their spirit of giving by contacting [email protected] and donating a gift or service to help raise money at the 2008 Festival of Trees.

‘One way anyone can participate is to donate any number of items to Dicken’s General Store. The store will be selling mini Christmas stockings with your lucky number inside, which can be traded in for a gift at the Dicken’s General Store,’ adds Ms Bergstrom

The 21 November dinner at Ristorante Pappagallo will continue to be the grand finale of the five-day event and all trees and wreaths will be sold in a live auction to those in attendance. As with previous years, the auction items include a varied display of beautifully decorated Christmas trees and holiday wreaths adorned with exciting gift packages.

All proceeds of ticket sales and various auctions will benefit the CCMI and their efforts to sustain the biodiversity of our incredible coral reefs through research, education, public awareness and conservation.

The dinner and auction for Festival of Trees is a sell-out event that receives rave reviews by attendees. Individuals or companies interested in purchasing tickets for the auction at Ristorante Pappagallo can contact [email protected]

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute was incorporated in 1998 as a non-profit 501c3 organization. CCMI was established as an international charitable organization after becoming incorporated in the Cayman Islands (2002) and in the UK in 2004.

Since its first years, CCMI has proven a valuable asset to the effort of understanding changing coral reef and tropical marine environments, and its research and education programs have established a solid foundation for future reef education and awareness in the Caribbean and for students and researchers from around the world.