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Get into the Cortez holiday spirit with annual Festival of Wreaths

Rodney Guggenheim, Kacie Timmerman, and Cynthia Salder from Community Connections in Cortez will hang wreaths at local businesses as part of the Festival of Wreaths fundraiser. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)
Fundraiser funds programs for adults and youths with disabilities

Community Connections encourages the public to get into the holiday spirit this year with festive events that benefit adults and youths with disabilities.

The second annual Festival of Wreaths fundraiser will take place in Cortez Nov. 22 through Dec. 5, and has a fun, new twist this year, said organizer Cynthia Sadler.

Local sponsors will showcase 46 wreaths at downtown businesses and at the Cortez Welcome Center. They will also be displayed at city buildings.

The added fun is that the public is encouraged to take a holiday tour of the decorated wreaths by picking up a map and Festival of Wreaths passport at the Cortez Welcome Center.

Kaki Sadler, and her mother, Cynthia Sadler, show off a fundraising wreath on displayed at Brand Central in 2020 as part of the inaugural Festival of Wreaths. The fundraising event benefits people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. (Journal/Jim Mimiaga)

When visiting the wreaths write down the attached code name into the passport. If you see 25 or more wreaths, your name will be entered into a drawing for $50 Cortez Cash Cards redeemable at participating businesses. The drawing is sponsored by the Cortez Retail Enhancement Association.

“We wanted to make the wreath event more interactive for the community this year. Bring in some holiday spirit by taking a tour of the wreaths. They are beautifully and creatively decorated,” Sadler said.

As part of the fundraiser there will be a online auction for the wreaths Dec. 3-5. Register and bid on a wreath at www.trees21.givesmart.com

You can sign up for an texting app that informs bidders if someone is outbidding them.

The event is gaining in popularity, with 46 wreath sponsors this year compared to 20 last year.

“There is added excitement this year as the economy rebounds from the pandemic and businesses are open again,” Sadler said.

Proceeds from the fundraiser go toward Community Connection programs and services that assist youths and adults with mental and developmental disabilities.

“Our mission to create opportunities four our clients to have fulfilling lives in the community,” Sadler said.

Activities and education are offered, and as well as volunteer and job programs, including at local businesses.

Client costs for Community Connections services are paid in full by Medicaid. The revenue pays for 80% of the agency’s programs, so fundraisers are needed to cover the annual shortfall, Sadler said.

In this file photo, Laura Alsum with Community Connections, puts on the finishing touches more than 40 trees and wreaths decorated for the Festival of Trees in the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Grange Hall.

Also, Community Connections will host the 18th annual Festival of Trees in Durango Dec. 3-5 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Grange Hall downtown. Come take a tour of the sparkling winter forest of holiday trees and wreaths and get into the spirit of the season.

The online event Dec. 3-5 features a narrated tour of the festive wonderland at the train station, and of the wreaths on Main Street in Cortez. There are also stories from clients, families and staff about the programs that help people with disabilities lead healthy fulfilling lives.

For more information, go to www.communityconnectionsco.org