WEST LIBERTY, Iowa–As West Liberty gets ready to begin their holiday season with their annual Holiday Open House, the Muscatine County Fair looks to inspire holiday giving as well. For the second year in a row, they will host Trees for a Cause on Nov. 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Muscatine County Fair Grounds, 101 North Clay Street in West Liberty.
A unique fundraiser, any non-profit organization or business raising money for a good cause may set up and decorate a tree with the most festive holiday décor they can find. Individuals wanting to fundraise for a cause they care about may set up trees too. During the Trees for a Cause event, each tree will have a bucket in front of it. As visitors to the display come through, they may vote for their favorite tree by placing money in the corresponding bucket. At the end of the day, each entrant will total up the amount of money their tree made to determine a winner. Each group or individual participating will get to keep the money they raised to donate to the non-profit of their choice. Last year, the Goshen Gladiators 4-H Club won, helping support their projects and exhibits for the following summer.
To compliment the tree contest, up to six vendors will have their wares on sale for guests to peruse. A fun way to start finding holiday gifts, shoppers can find one of a kind items to give to all the friends and family members on their holiday shopping list for the year.
To encourage as much participation as possible, both tree contest entrants and vendors may participate in Trees for a Cause for free. To get involved, they must simply contact the Muscatine County Fair by email or by calling 319-627-2414. Muscatine County Fair Director Kelsey Meyers recommends emailing to get the fastest registration response. Though some spots remain for both tree decorators and vendors, Meyers encourages people to contact the Muscatine County Fair early to ensure that they have spots available for them.
From 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Trees for a Cause, attendees may also treat themselves to a specially made sack lunch. Diners may chose either a steak sandwich or a hotdog as a main course and enjoy chips, a drink, and a cookie along with it. Each sack lunch will cost $10, and all proceeds raised will go to support the Muscatine County Fair and the events it holds throughout the year.
Following a successful first Trees for a Cause, Meyers looks forward to having a strong second event. “Last year went good, and we had 13 trees, six vendors, and served 200 steak sack lunches, so that was really good for our first year and we’re excited to do it again.”
An afternoon of good food and time spent with friends, Meyers looks forward to seeing the community come together again for Trees for a Cause. “I would encourage people to just come see the trees–people put a lot of work into them, and they look pretty neat,” she shared.
She also has high hopes for raising funds for many good causes, including the Muscatine County Fair and, “just seeing all the people support all the different causes.”