Metrocreative Newspaper Service

By Jeff Rebitski, Staff Writer

This year’s festival of Trees has a guarantee to be “Groovy” according to Michelle Luoma,
human resources director for Riverton’s Community Entry Services. The event themed “Groovy Christmas” being held over two nights will showcase more than 25 trees that are decorated and donated for auction by local businesses and organizations as well as individuals in the community.

The first night, December 1, from 4-8 p.m. will be “Family Night” and because of the generosity of a few local businesses, will be free to anyone who wishes to come and see the trees. On that night, there will be pictures with Santa, hot cocoa and cider, a cake walk, and many other activities for families to enjoy at the Fremont Center on the Fremont County Fairgrounds.

On December 2, the night is reserved for the corporate clients who really make the dreams of Community Entry Services a reality. The tables are sold to those corporations who provide a lion’s share of the funding that keeps the fun and function alive at Community Entry Services. According to Michelle Luoma, those tables have been sold out for quite some time. A table for eight is $600.00 and includes dinner provided by Lander Catholic College as well as a show, performed by the CES staff and directed by “Communal Pancake,” and is sure to entertain.

These festive events are the backbone of many organizations around Fremont County and the support of people in both the corporate and community realms provides the strength that keeps the organization alive.

With volunteer sponsors who assist with the events, we see groups come together to provide much-needed, frontline support to make the events a success. Groups like South Pass Jazz Group and Communal Pancake work to entertain while Lander Catholic College provides the culinary expertise to feed the epicurean desires of the community.

Certainly, this is not an event that one could miss if one loves Christmas or trees. The festive atmosphere and activities are sure to please even the most dispirited of scrooges.

Community Entry Services (CES) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to empower people with disabilities to maximize independence and lead satisfying, productive lives in the community. CES serves people with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries including life skills training, job training, supported employment, recreation programs, and assisted living support.