Nonprofits Help ‘Light Up the Night’ at Riverfront Park Pavilion with Christmas Trees Showcasing Their Work

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Nonprofits Help ‘Light Up the Night’ at Riverfront Park Pavilion with Christmas Trees Showcasing Their Work

By Cassy Benefield

This news was made possible by contributions to FāVS from readers and members like you. Thank you.

Visitors can scan this QR code ornament to learn how to help Family Promise of Spokane / Cassy Benefield – SpokaneFāVS

When visitors stroll through the Riverfront Park Pavilion through January 1, they can expect another light show, this one on several Christmas trees, under its canopy.

The second annual ‘Light Up the Night Community Tree Display’ features trees decorated by local nonprofits on the pavilion floor, and visitors who come down the next two weekends (Fri-Sun) will be entitled to an additional free light show on the canopy.

Last year, before the pilot of this program began, the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation staff wondered how they could bring holiday cheer to their open spaces and provide a way for the community to find activities to do during COVID-19 restrictions.

“We wanted to look at safe alternatives for the community,” said Garret Jones, director of parks and recreation. “And this type of event at Riverfront Park is great because we really showcase our great nonprofits. “

While there are roughly the same number of ‘community and community-based’ groups featured this year (38) compared to last year’s event (39), according to Jones, some changes have been made. brought to the location of the trees.

Currently the trees are located in the pavilion ring and inside the adjoining administration building as they encountered vandalism issues last season when trees were on display throughout the park, some trees found in the river.

Still, it was such a success that they decided to go ahead and include this experience in their annual plan for the future of Riverfront Park.

Trees exposed under the canopy of the Riverfront Park Pavillion / Cassy Benefield – SpokaneFāVS

Organizations featured this year include the Free Restaurant for Women and Children, the Carl Maxey Center, and the ISAAC Foundation.

“We’re so excited to be back… with our gratitude themed Christmas tree. We adorned it with framed logos of foundations and companies that supported Women & Children’s Free Restaurant during the pandemic. Thanks to their generous support, the restaurant has provided more than two million meals since March 2020, which is 10 times what we originally planned, ”Lisa Diffley, executive director of the restaurant said in an email.

Holly Goodman, Founder and Executive Director of The Isaac Foundation, used her tree to educate the community about its Weighted Blanket Reward Program which provides people with autism or other medical diagnosis with these handmade blankets.

“Families have been blessed with these weighted blankets and they have the joy of going down into the trees, finding their loved one’s photo on an ornament or their name on the list and taking their photo and sending it back to us.” , Goodman said. during a telephone interview. “It is also part of my joy.”

ISAAC Foundation’s ‘nice list’ of some of the children who received a weighted blanket this year / Cassy Benefield – SpokaneFāVS

A “relatively new organization” in Spokane, the tree at the Carl Maxey Center features the Pan-African flag and color theme of the center along with the resources they offer that fulfill their mission of “uplifting the African American community in Spokane. “Brianna Rollins, the centre’s program coordinator, said in an email.

“The Riverfront Park ‘Light Up the Night’ Christmas Tree Exhibit is an exciting opportunity for the Carl Maxey Center to showcase and share our work with the Spokane community,” said Rollins. “We also thought it would be fun to participate in the holiday spirit by decorating a tree and inviting the community to decorate it with us. “

In addition to the trees on display under and near the pavilion, the latest Winter Farmer’s Market, which features “local farmers, processors, artisans and artisans,” according to the Parks and Recreation website, will take place on December 22, from 3 -19h

Jones and his team at Riverfront Park saw another need met at last year’s event and that’s another reason they’ve decided to keep doing “Light Up the Night” for years to come. to come: partnerships.

“Another huge strategy that we took away from 2020 in the pandemic [was] break those silos and realize that we can’t achieve a goal on our own, ”Jones said. “We need these partners and that also creates ownership of our parks and open spaces. “

This news was made possible by contributions to FāVS from readers and members like you. Thank you.

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