Enchanted Forest of Christmas Trees Supports Community Connections Inc.


Visit the Festival of Trees to get into the holiday spirit and marvel at the inventiveness of this year's sponsors and the decoration themes they've created. The festival benefits Community Connections Inc. Sponsored by Alpine Bank

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Hi, I'm Beth Drum with Alpine Bank. At Alpine Bank, we value the services that our nonprofit community offers. We hope you enjoy meeting some of these change makers as part of the Alpine Bank series, Community Matters.

An enchanted forest of sparkling Christmas trees will be on display at the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad hall for the 18th annual Festival of Trees and reads. The annual event not only ramps up the holiday spirit, it benefits community connections and the individuals and families it serves.

Most of our funding is from Medicaid and the way the Medicaid system is designed, by design they pay about 70% of a market rate for any service. So they figure out what does it really cost to provide a service? And then they pay about 70% of that because, you know, there's only so much money in the Medicaid system, but it really leaves this gap usually of about 30% that we have to fill somehow, we get a lot of great local support. Our local counties and municipalities have been historically great at supporting us, but there's still more to fill in that gap.

This year's festival features 35 dazzling trees and 19 reads cleverly decorated to illustrate different themes. One of individual sponsor Richard Siegley's three trees is covered with handmade gingerbread men and women, but don't expect to eat them. Siegley's host home housemates, Kettie Latimer and Spruce Drussy carved each wooden ornament and painted them by hand. Another tree pays homage to cooking and baking. It's decorated with utensils, pot holders, and handwritten recipe cards. And if you have a boy or girl who wants to be a firefighter, then you'll want to purchase the tree decorated with fire hats and toy fire trucks. The whimsy has a serious mission and that's to inspire your support of community connections, either by purchasing a tree or making a donation. The nonprofit agency provides support services to about 700 clients with severe mental or developmental disabilities in the five county Region 9 area.

So, we have been serving Southwest Colorado since 1985 as community connections. And our whole goal is to make sure that all people are included and that includes people with developmental, intellectual, and other disabilities. And we do that by providing an array of services that help support people in their homes, in the community, you know, to live, love, work, play just like any of us want to in this community.

You can view the trees and other holiday decorations from noon to 5:00 pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 3rd, through the 5th at the Grange hall, or go online to view a narrated video tour of the enchanted holiday forest. Bids will be accepted both in-person at the Grange or online. Visit communityconnectionsco.org for more information. Thanks for watching this edition of Community Matters brought to you by Alpine Bank and the local news network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.


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