Festival of trees benefits Dickinson non-profits

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DICKINSON, N.D. - Twenty-four days until Christmas.

Dickinson's Chamber of Commerce is helping people bring in the holiday season with a festival of trees.

These aren't your traditional Christmas trees. And by this weekend, all sixteen will be in a family's living room.

"[My daughter] likes the trees. And she heard Santa was going to be here, so we had to come to see Santa," says Jami Kromarek, attendant.

The Festival of Trees offers food, crafts,music and a reading from Santa.

Families can pay cash for admission or bring canned goods that will be donated to the Amen Food Pantry.

"To be able to give support to those projects. I couldn't more happy to be able to help with that. It's a humbling feeling to know how quickly and how strongly the people of Dickinson come together to help each other," says Thomas Mitzel, DSU President.

Organizations and businesses decorated the trees to be auctioned off.

Proceeds from the auction will go towards the Dickinson Backpack program - a program that sends underprivileged children home with food on the weekends.

"In a community our size, the number of students that are involved in this program is the same number that would be for example, enrollment in Lincoln Elementary School. Last year they had over 200 kids enrolled in it," says Cheryl Viola, Dickinson Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.

The two-day festival also includes a dance and music performance, as well as books for children to take home.

The chamber of commerce is hoping to raise at least $5,000 for the backpack program.