Pathway commits in second year hosting Festival of Trees

By Benjamin Cox on November 17, 2018 at 8:22pm

Pathway Services is embracing organization and Christmas cheer in their second year of hosting the local Festival of Trees, and the annual auction that accompanies it on Sunday.

Area residents have the opportunity to gather with other members of the community to enjoy the displayed decorations and begin planning this year’s Christmas celebrations. When the doors open at 11, three hours will be allowed for additional browsing, as a smorgasbord of holiday fun will fill the air.

Barb Suelter is the President of the Pathway Services Board. Suelter says the selection of many various trees and other decorations will make for an great auction.

“I think that the designers in the community have outdone themselves this year. We have more trees, more wreaths, and more centerpieces, which are all absolutely gorgeous. They are brought in force year after year, and they are certainly beautiful this year.”

Suelter explains some history and development of the Jacksonville Festival of Trees.

“For the first 28 years of the Festival of Trees, it was operated by the Woodhaven Hospice at the Masonic Temple. Last year, it was turned over to Pathway, and the money goes to ‘Pathway Partners’ – which is directly for our served individuals. All the money raised during the auction goes to Pathway Partners as well, and it is a live auction beginning at 2:30 p.m.”

Suelter commends the Pathway maintenance and custodial department for their effort.

“We attriubute both the wonderful 15-foot tall reindeer and our Choo-Choo Train to our maintenance and custodial department. They did an absolutely fantastic job of coming up with ideas and getting involved in the festival. They had to figure out a lot of things for themselves in terms of making the reindeer stand stronger, because guaranteeing public safety by anchoring the 15 foot reindeer outside in the Illinois wind coming across the Pathway parking lot is not an easy task. The Choo-Choo Train is a modified utility cart that is used the rest of the year for transporting tools and various things they need to do fixes around the grounds. We even go to our residents’ homes and fix things.”

Pathway Services is at 1905 W. Morton Ave., east of Walmart, next to Dunham Sports.