Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 8, 2013

Easy money?

Visitors bureau starts unique holiday fundraiser

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — Money doesn’t grow on trees, unless that tree is at the Ashland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Bureau director Sue Dowdy found a small, wiry Christmas tree at an after-the-holidays sale last year. She and Mary Ann York, who also works at the AACVB, were the only ones who liked the green tree with dangling, metallic medallions.

“Everyone else thought it was ugly,” Dowdy said. The dangling items on the tree reminded Dowdy of coins, so she and York tried to spruce it up with money. At first, they used play money, but then Dowdy got a better idea.

“We’re collecting real money,” she said. “We’re going to give it to The Needy Families Fund.”

The Independent started The Needy Families Fund more than 20 years ago in an effort to raise money to help Community Assistance and Referral Service (CAReS) fund several local charities that help provide Christmas gifts and meals for needy children and their families.

Dowdy said the office will take money for the tree until the middle of December. So far, she said they have collected about $40, but the tree has a total of 124 loops and she said she hopes they all end up full of paper money.

“We’ve got mostly ones but there are a few fives in there,” she said, noting she hopes area residents will stop by the office to donate even larger denominations during regular office hours, which are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.