DANVILLE – OSF HealthCare announced that after 23 years, the Festival of Trees annual holiday celebration will collaboratively transition to Balloons Over Vermilion, a local not-for-profit, volunteer-led organization responsible for the presentation of the area’s hot air balloon festival.
“The best part of the Festival of Trees event is the community members who make it an impactful success for the community,” said Debbie Michenfelder, major gifts officer at OSF HealthCare Sacred Heart Medical Center, through a press release. “We’re very blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people in our community. We sincerely thank everyone for their continued dedication and support of the festival. We look forward to transitioning the event to a very successful, community-minded organization like Balloons Over Vermilion.”
Organizers and many volunteers of Balloons Over Vermilion have been involved with Festival of Trees since its inception, and are excited to continue this long-standing community tradition.
“Having been associated with Festival of Trees for over two decades, I know the excitement of all those who circle the date on their calendars each year and look forward to sharing the Festival experience with their friends and families,” said Pat O’Shaughnessy, chair of the Balloons Over Vermilion not-for-profit board of directors, through the press release. “On behalf of our organization, I offer my sincere thanks to OSF HealthCare Foundation for its commitment to ensuring that this signature holiday event continues in the years ahead, providing charitable dollars for local initiatives and reminding us all of the joy of giving.”
Since 1997, Festival of Trees has raised more than $4.3 million for outreach programs and special health care initiatives benefiting patients and communities served by OSF Sacred Heart. With the help of its steering committee and more than 1,000 volunteers, Festival of Trees will continue to support advanced medical care for our community as the event transitions to Balloons Over Vermilion.
Proceeds of the 2021 Festival of Trees will benefit the OSF Bobette Steely Hegeler Cancer Care Center at OSF Sacred Heart.
At this time, based on local health guidelines, Balloons Over Vermilion on July 9-10 at the Vermilion Regional Airport, and the Festival of Trees, Nov. 13-17, at the David S. Palmer Arena are scheduled to occur this year.