The Latest News

FHN Names Community Festival of Trees Winners


From Our Dogs to Their Dogs: A War Dog Tribute by Therapy Dogs International – Freeport and Roaring with Kindness! from Open Bible Learning Center captured this year's top spots – and a $500 donation for each organization – in the FHN Community Festival of Trees.

Therapy Dogs' tree was named the judges' top choice of the year, and Open Bible's tree garnered 1,116 votes to win the People's Choice top prize. All of the trees remain on display at the Freeport Public Library through Friday, Dec. 28. Prize winners – both the panel of judges' choices and the People's Choice winners – will be marked with a sign.

This year's Community Festival of Trees drew 24 entries, and a record-high total of 2,127 People's Choice ballots were cast from December 2 – 16.

The judges chose Not a Hand Out, But a Hand Up by Habitat for Humanity as their second-place winner. Habitat for Humanity will receive a $300 check. The Lincoln-Douglas 2nd and 4th Grade Reading Buddies tree, All I Want for Christmas is... My Two Favorite Books! earned 230 People's Choice votes and a $200 second-place check.

The Stephenson County Association for Home and Community Education nabbed the judges' third prize and a $150 check for their tree No Act of Kindness is Ever Wasted. The creators of the People's Choice third-place winner, Newell Rubbermaid Relay For Life, will receive a check for $100 for their tree No One Has to Walk Alone, which had 172 votes.

The volunteer judges for this year's Community Festival of Trees were Freeport Art Museum Director Jessica Caddell; FHN Cancer Center Director Sue Hartje; FHN Memorial Hospital Gift Shop Coordinator Sally Kahler; and Jill Collin, a member of the Freeport Public Library Board of Trustees.

The Community Festival of Trees is part of FHN's 21st annual Festival of Trees celebration. Each year, FHN sponsors a full slate of activities in November and December for the Festival of Trees, from this year's CasiNO TO CANCER Holiday Gala and Singin' at the King to the Holiday Movie Series to a flurry of Santa visits at Freeport Public Library.