Junior League Of Duluth Brings Christmas Joy With Festival Of Trees Event

DULUTH, Minn. — DECC the halls with booths of goodies… The Junior League of Duluth brought Christmas joy with more than 130 vendors covering 2 main rooms of the DECC. Vendors sold things from photo prints, to elves, to even roasted nuts, giving a part of themselves away with their crafts.

For Meghan Schmitz and her family, their booth sold Christmas wreaths as a fundraiser to fund money for building a new school in Hayward, Wisconsin.

“They want to build an actual school so they can have more classrooms for more kids, a gymnasium, that type of thing. We have a person who has land in Duluth, and they have a lot of pine boughs. We usually bring like three trailers; we have a lot of volunteers from our church and our family. We’ll go and spend the whole day, probably like 6 hours, picking pine boughs,” said Schmitz.

Another vendor is glad that his brother gave him the extra nudge in his life, setting him on the path that he is on today.

Travis Mizuhata, owner of Mizuhata Media said, “So I got my first camera when I was 14. I started doing photography and I got to a point where I was taking photos of my brother. He basically told me that he wanted that picture. A couple of months later he said, ‘how’s it going’, I said ‘good’, he said ‘here’s more money for this one.'”

The first Festival of Trees event took place back in 1986, with the proceeds going towards local organizations like Life House, Little Treasures, and the YMCA Mentor Duluth. But this event also paves the way for local artists and businesses to shine.

“For me to be here and help out it’s just adding onto getting that school built to have a good foundation for them. Especially, when I get married. I definitely want my kids to go there as well. So, it’s kind of like in the future and for the now,” explained Schmitz.

The Junior League of Duluth is a woman-runned non-profit organization with a priority of helping out their community through volunteering. With the Festival of Trees gathering non-perishable food that will go to Second Harvest.

Every year, the Junior League of Duluth makes its signature toffee for people to enjoy. The Festival of Trees event still managed to boil down the Christmas spirit to family.

“My brother really got me started going on the whole booth idea. The next big show that I would like to do, or a few of them that I would like to do is the outdoor show in Duluth here,” said Mizuhata.

Schmitz said, “It’s very much a family tradition, we’ve been doing this for a while. It brings us together. It makes us close and kind of makes us to have a reason for the season you know. It’s a lot of bonding.”

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