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Fundraisers highlight holidays

Dan Bischoff, Of the Record staff

It’s the season for giving and Park City residents have no shortage in charitable options.

Parkites can help people ranging from needy families to the Lost Boys of Sudan. Here are a few of Park City’s options:

Through Dec. 17, The Chier Foundation is accepting gifts for the Lost Boys at the Market at Park City, formerly Dan’s Market. Gifts can be large, small, personal or general.

"Many of these Lost Boys from Sudan don’t have families," said Kate Geagan, organizer of The Chier Foundation. "We had a fundraiser for them last year and that was the first Christmas they had receiving gifts."

Geagan said gifts can be simple like toiletries and gift cards to a grocery store. Many of them don’t have adequate winter clothing. Socks, hats and gloves are also desirable.

"They won’t celebrate Christmas without whatever The Chier foundation gives them," Geagan said. "We haven’t received many gifts yet, but we are hopeful. We live in such a community with so many resources and we are hoping that people come out and support the cause."

If residents cannot make it to the Market, they can also donate by visiting the Web site at http://www.chierfoundation.org.

The Shop Yoga Studio is holding two fundraisers. It’s presenting its second annual Aiden Tree program. The non-profit studio has partnered with Salt Lake County’s Salvation Army to provide clothing and toys to Utah’s deserving families through a giving program that will benefit families throughout local communities.

The Aiden Tree fundraiser will collect unwrapped donations of clothing and toys for children ages 2-12 through Dec. 18. The gifts will be distributed through the Salvation Army’s warehouse the week prior to the Christmas holiday.

"We’re so pleased to be able to help the efforts of the Salvation Army to assist deserving families throughout our community," said Sandy Geldhof, the studio’s office manager. "We’re so blessed to be able to share our abundances with those who have less and we hope that everyone will turn out to make a donation, no matter how small, your gift will be loved by a child."

Geldhof said the people at The Shop Yoga Studio started the program because they were grateful for what they have been blessed with and they wanted to be able to give back something.

"We wanted to help those that weren’t as blessed," Geldhof said. "There are certain groups of people that are just making ends meet."

On Sunday, Dec. 10 from 1-4 p.m., the studio will be hosting a visit with Santa as part of the Aiden Tree fundraiser. Residents are invited to bring the family in for a holiday photo and pets are welcome as well (photos will not be provided by the studio but staff will be on hand to take holiday photos). Refreshments will be served and there is no cost to participate, however, gifts for the giving program will also be accepted.

The studio’s goal is to provide toys and clothes for 100 children; last year they provided gifts for 80 children. For more information, visit the studio online at http://www.parkcityyoga.com or call 649-9339.

The Shop Yoga Studio is also playing a large part in the Wreath Tour fundraiser. There are 26 wreaths donated by 26 of Park City’s local non-profits, sponsored through the Main Street Business Alliance. This program designed to benefit the community and offer non-profits a chance to generate some of the consumer dollars outside of a regular donation, Geldhof said.

Silent auction bid sheets are available in the participating business and in many cases, indicate a minimum bid price and a "buy-it-now" price, for customers who don’t want to wait until Dec. 16 to take their wreath home. In all cases, the wreaths will generate funds for the participating non-profit who will keep the entire sale proceeds to benefit their organization.

The auction will end in a final display and bidding auction on Dec. 16 from 3-5 p.m. at the Town Lift Plaza, the final day of the HMBA holiday promotion, which incorporated a variety of Main Street activities, including horse-drawn hay rides, visits with Santa, holiday music and live entertainment and a $5,000 grand prize drawing.

Visitors and residents are invited to take a "wreath tour" by picking up a map outlining the participating non-profits and the business locations where the wreaths are displayed. Maps are available throughout Main Street businesses and the Egyptian Theatre.

"Most of them are pretty outstanding," Geldhof said. "There has been a lot of creativity and they are really quite unique."

The Park City Library has put up its Mitten Tree. The library asks the public to donate new hats, gloves, scarves, and mittens in children’s sizes for the Park City Police Department to distribute to those in need in the community. The "Mitten Tree" is up and ready to go and donations are accepted through Dec. 20. Call the Park City Library for more information at 615-5600.

The Mitten Tree was started by Denna Wright, the Park City Library Youth Services librarian for 18 years. There is a children’s book titled "The Mitten Tree" by Candace Christiansen, which is now out of print.

The story starts on a winter day where an elderly Sarah notices a young boy at the bus stop without mittens, so she knits him a pair and leaves them on a tree where he’ll find them. She continues to anonymously knit and leaves mittens for the children who need them. One day, a large basket of yarn is left on her doorstep, enabling her to continue her work.

The Park City Mitten Tree is based on the same principle: getting mittens, gloves, hats and scarves to those in need, said Heather Reynolds, librarian.

"It is an easy way for community members to contribute," Reynolds said. "I have had a group of girls who handmade scarves and hats as a birthday party activity. They brought their items and hung them on the Mitten Tree. It made the girls feel good to be helping the community.

"It is also a great way for the Park City Library and the Park City Police to work together to keep our locals warm this winter," Reynolds added.

Other fundraisers around town include a fundraiser organized by Shelly Weiss who collects coats for the community through her Feliz Navidad program. For more information, call Weiss at 901-3549. The Park City Performing Arts Foundation will hold an auction to benefit students Dec. 14. The Park City Police also has a "Shop with a Cop" program Dec. 9. For more information, call 615-5500. Park City Mountain Resort will be having a "Benefit Day," with a torchlight parade, Santa coming down the town lift. Tthe resort’s fourth annual Benefit Day will take place on Friday, Dec. 15. Advanced purchased lift tickets are $20 and all proceeds will benefit the Park City Historical Society and Museum. On Saturday, Dec. 16, Santa and Rudolph will fly their sleigh full of goodies into Park City on the Town Lift at 6:15 p.m. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. To round out the holiday celebrations, the Resort’s Ski and Snowboard School will once again take part in the annual torchlight parade. This event will take place on Dec. 24 at 6 p.m. Last season’s torchlight parade was recently featured on the USA Network’s TV special "The Great American Christmas."


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