The votes have been tallied and a winner has been chosen from Bedford's "Festival of Trees."
The Bedford Genealogical Society received the largest number of ballots in the 2012 contest, with 239 votes. The GFWC Bedford Woman’s Club came in second place with 228 votes and the Bedford Council of Garden Clubs came in third place with 189 votes.
This year's festival raised $1,886, which will be split by the charities of the winning organizations. The Bedford Genealogical Society’s charity is the Bedford Genealogical Society, Inc., The GFWC Bedford Woman’s Club charity is the Bedford Oncology Wellness Program and the Bedford Council of Garden Club’s charity is The Shepherd's Table of Bedford.
Organizations that participated in this year's festival of trees include: The GFWC Bedford Woman’s Club; Bedford County Landfill; Bedford Genealogical Society, Inc.; Bedford Domestic Violence Services; Bedford Host Lions Club; Bedford Humane Society; Bedford International Alliance; Bedford Council of Garden Clubs; Bedford Wine Trail; Bower Center for the Arts; Little Town Players; Elks National Home; National D-Day Memorial; Bedford Memorial Hospital; Keep Bedford Beautiful Commission; Bedford Professional Women; Bedford Public Library System; Rwandan Hugs; Sedalia Center; and The Garden Club of Bedford.
Bedford is known as the "Christmas Capital of Virginia," and some of the decorations are helping area non-profits.
The Bedford Welcome Center is hosting a "Festival of Trees." Each of the 20 trees represents a different club or organization in Bedford.
Members of those groups have come up with creative designs and ornaments. The Bedford landfill's tree is made entirely of recyclable cardboard.
For just one dollar, you can vote for your favorite tree.
"It gets the word out about the different organizations," said Sue Trussell, gift shop manager for the Bedford Welcome Center and "Festival of Trees" organizer. "A lot of people don't know that these organizations exist in Bedford, or what they're about, so it kind of opens the eyes of the community for the organizations."
The three trees with the most votes will split all the money raised. Those funds will go to the winning organization's charity.
Voting ends January 2nd. You can view the trees and cast your ballot at the Bedford Welcome Center on Burks Hill Road.