Festival of Trees begins with ladies’ night preview

By Rose Schneider

The Festival of Trees kicks off tonight with a ladies-only holiday preview and fashion show from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Kansas State University Alumni Center Ballroom.

Tickets are $10 at the door and include a free bid for the quarter auction with each ticket purchase. Additional bid paddles can be purchased for $3 each.

“We have more than 40 vendors selling everything from jewelry to makeup to purses,” said Lori Bishop, RSVP director. “You name it and we’ve got it.” Free gift-wrapping will be available on all purchases.

Tonight’s activities will also include food and a cash bar. Attendees will have an opportunity to preview each of the 12 trees. This year’s displays include an upside-down Wizard of Oz tree, peacock tree and outdoor themed tree. Eleven of the trees can be purchased tonight. However, the military-themed tree will not be available for purchase. This particular tree will be auctioned off at Friday’s Festival of Trees Gala and donated by the highest bidder to the United Service Operations along with some highly needed items. Trees purchased tonight will have to stay on display for the public until after the gala.

Attendees of the preview also will have the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets for Friday’s gala.

A public viewing of the trees will take place from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. During this time, the public can vote for their favorite trees. A people’s choice award will be given at the gala on Friday to the most popular tree.

The gala will take place Friday, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the alumni center with cocktails and a silent auction. A live auction and dinner start at 7:30 p.m., followed by a dance at 9 p.m. Tickets are $50 in advance and $65 at the door.

The entire event benefits the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of the Flint Hills and is its largest fundraiser of the year. RSVP of the Flint Hills is a community program created to engage persons 55 years and older in volunteer services to help the community.

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