WHEATON – Giving Tuesday may be one day a year, but the spirit of giving is a draw all season long. This year, support the work of your local non-profit community with a trip to a beautiful display of holiday cheer.
Now through December 30, McCormick House at Cantigy Park will feature seven “Community Trees,” each decorated for Christmas by a different local nonprofit organization. The area charities were invited to participate because their missions involve issues or causes that were important to Robert McCormick during his career and life at Cantigny.
Each participating organization receives a $2,500 grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. They also collect 100 percent of optional donations made by museum visitors, who are encouraged to vote for their favorite tree. The agency whose tree gathers the most votes receives an additional $2,500. The Foundation commits $20,000 annually to the program.
The chosen non-profit agencies recall Colonel McCormick’s passion for community service. Tree decorators in 2018 are:
Family Focus, Inc. which offers innovative, community-based programs that help parents, grandparents, and foster and adoptive parents, gain confidence and competence as the primary educators of their children. Freedom Golf Association, based in Burr Ridge, and dedicated to bringing joy and a sense of freedom to the special needs community through the game of golf. Founded in 2012, FGA offers workshops and free instruction opportunities forchildren, adults and veterans. Glen Ellyn Food Pantry, an organization of Glen Ellyn churches working together to fight hunger and food insecurity in the communities of Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Glendale Heights, Lisle, Lombard, Carol Stream, Addison and Bloomingdale. Operation Welcome You Home a 100 percent volunteer organization dedicated to organizing grand gestures of support for veterans leaving for, or returning from, combat-zone deployment. Streamwood Choral Society, which supports the musical arts in Streamwood and surrounding communities by providing private music lessons, college scholarships and performance opportunities to students and youth who could not afford them otherwise. Unity Partnership, which creates positive impacts between police and civilians by developing new pathways for dialogue in the community. The Naperville-based organization is composed of various cultural, ethnic and religious groups working collectively to solve community issues and erase negative stereotypes. West Suburban Humane Society, a volunteer-based animal welfare organization dedicated to operating a premier “no kill” animal shelter in Downers Grove and to finding safe, permanent and compatible homes to adopt domestic dogs and cats.
The trees creatively decorated by these seven organizations will be positioned throughout McCormick House. For the ninth consecutive year, the Westmont design center of Phillip’s Flowers & Gifts is decorating the 18-foot-tall tree in Freedom Hall, Colonel McCormick’s historic library.
The Community Trees exhibit ends on Sunday, December 30, Cantigny Park’s final day of 2018 operations.
McCormick House hours in November and December are 10 am to 4 pm, Tuesday-Sunday, with visits by free guided tour. The museum is closed on Mondays and during the holiday season will close November 22-23 and December 24-25.
Parking at Cantigny is $5 per vehicle (free for members).
More information, including park hours, directions and a calendar of upcoming events is online at Cantigny.org.