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Festival of Trees raises more than $20k for local charities

Second annual Christmas tree festival hosted by the Embassy Suites Atlanta - Galleria exceeds fundraising goal; decorated trees will remain on display through Jan. 1.

In its second year, the Cobb Galleria Festival of Trees set an ambitious goal of raising $20,000 for 30 local charities. The results were recently announced at a holiday gala for the participating charities and guests. It was then that Santa Claus himself revealed the fundraising goal had been exceeded at $20,530.

The Embassy Suites Atlanta – Galleria gave an additional $1,000 to Curing Kids’ Cancer, which raised the most totaling $5,086. Camp Juliette Lowe raised $4,772 with the March of Dimes rounding out the top three with $1,380.

"I love Christmas and seeing more than 30 beautifully decorated trees up close and in person not only broadened my awareness of so many wonderful charities, but brightened my holiday spirit,” said local media personality Tom Sullivan, who served as the celebrity emcee of the night. “This is what the season is truly about. Every tree is filled with the spirit, a story and the glory of Christmas."

Participating nonprofits decorated their tree and holiday revelers “voted” for their favorite by donating to that charity. The annual event raised $14,000 in its inaugural year in 2010.

The decorated trees will remain on display in the atrium of the Embassy Suites Atlanta – Galleria, located at 2815 Akers Mill Road, through Jan. 1 with holiday music and free hot chocolate on tap. It is a free, family friendly holiday tradition, although donations will continue to be accepted for the nonprofits.

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