Christmas extravagnza

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

There’s nothing quite like a room full of giving people, said Mack Gibson.

And, if that’s true, then there certainly was nothing like the Johnson Center for the Arts Christmas Tree Extravaganza Tuesday night.

“There is nothing in the world like seeing a room full of people supporting of charitable endeavors,” said Gibson, who co-chaired the event with Kathy Campbell.

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This was the Johnson Center’s second annual Christmas Tree Extravaganza, which is the biggest fundraising event it holds each year. This year, there were around 130 people in attendance.

The event featured several Christmas trees on display in the Johnson Center, and followed with dinner and a silent auction at the Cultural Arts Studio.

Christmas trees were sponsored by various businesses throughout the community, and trees were donated by Terra Cotta, the largest sponsor of the event.

Johnson Center Director Richard Metzger said there were more than 80 items donated to the silent auction.

Not including the money raised in the auction, there was around $10,000 raised in the event.

That does include a $4,000 contribution from Rep. Alan Boothe, D-Troy, who presented money earned in a state-funded grant.

“The Legislature this year created a committee to fund community service grants,” Boothe said.

Campbell said it is events like the Christmas Tree Extravaganza that keep the doors of the center open to the public year round.

“This keeps it open to all people,” she said.

But, it’s not just about the money.

“This is a great way to kick off the holiday season,” Campbell said.

Metzger couldn’t have said it better.

“I’m just glad I get to spend the holidays with my friends in Troy,” Metzger said.

Al Head, executive director of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, said the event was a wonderful way to bring in the season and earn a little cash in the process.

“I think it’s a wonderful fundraising activity for the center,” Head said. “It’s a significant exhibit they have.”