Deck the Trees, the annual fundraising event for the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry (SVCM) Fuel Fund, takes place at businesses throughout Black Mountain and the Swannanoa Valley from Thursday, December 1, through January 2. This year, more than 40 organizations and individuals participate by decorating and displaying a Christmas tree along with a donation box and scannable barcode that visitors can use to deposit cash or a check in person or funds online to cast a vote for their favorite tree. Votes are tallied to identify which tree generates the most money for SVCM. A gift is awarded to that team as well as to the team whose tree most represents this year’s theme, Let Heaven and Nature Sing.
“We really loved seeing the effort the decorators put into their trees,” says Carli Petit, who, along with Scott Roy and Maddie Michaud, judged the 2021 competition. “They were all amazing and we had a difficult time deciding the winners. More importantly, it was great to see the whole community come together to support such a wonderful cause.”
For last year’s theme, Christmas in Black Mountain, Good Mow Joe owner Joe Holshouser and his team discovered locales named Black Mountain in 28 states. They then decorated their tree with ornaments in the shape of each of those states, with a red rhinestone marking the Black Mountain location. This year, they have been hard at work for several weeks creating their tree.
“Let Heaven and Nature Sing has been a bit of a challenge but I think we have come up with an unusual plan that I hope will be appreciated,” he says. “And we are back to a white tree which is the only hint I will give on the design!”
Other designs last year ran the gamut from a rainbow-colored tree by Mountain Fairy Hair to one decorated with old postcards, black-and-white photos and other Black Mountain memorabilia by Herschel’s. For seven years, Black Mountain Fire Department has made a strong showing with a tree dedicated to both the theme and to the department’s past and current members.
“Knowing the money raised benefits members of our own community, the fire department is honored to participate in this great event each year,” says retired deputy chief John Wilson. “The community has shown their love and support for our tree and the amazing program it serves.”
Since the fundraiser began in 2011, it has brought in more donations each season. Last year, funds raised totaled $41,330. All funds go toward providing heating assistance for those in need, including the elderly, working poor and those on a fixed income.
For more information, including tree locations, or to donate online, visit SVCMBlackMountain.org.