Festival of Trees benefits the community


Gatlinburg's Festival of Trees (Source: Kyle Grainger, WLVT)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Gatlinburg's Festival of Trees wrapped up on Saturday after raising money for the less fortunate in Sevier County.

Dozens and dozens of decorated Christmas trees waited for visitors in the winter wonderland set up at the Gatlinburg Convention Center's W.L. Mills Conference Center. Admission to the event was free, but patrons were asked to give a donation.

Money raised from the event will support Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries. The Non-profit group was started as a branch of KARM and now operates on its own to support the needs in Sevier County.

"What's really neat is we have so many tourists that come back year after year. They said we always plan to come here because we come see the festival of trees," said Francis Lofton, with Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries.

The festival of trees started on Tuesday and wrapped up on Saturday. Organizers say they've raised enough money to meet their anticipated needs for the holidays. They are asking for a donation of coats and hats for the winter. They say large and small sizes are always hard to find for people in need of warm clothes.

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