Deck the Trees raises more then $60,000 for fuel fund

Karrigan Monk
Black Mountain News
Deck the Trees raised $63,178.61 during the 2022 fundraiser for the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry Fuel Fund.

The holiday season has come to a close, and Deck the Trees has wrapped up for another year.

For the first time in three years, participants and sponsors were able to gather together for an event marking the end of the fundraiser. At the event, the Deck the Trees committee announced $63,178.61 was raised this year, an increase from the $41,426.19 raised the year prior. This brings the total amount Deck the Trees has raised to more than $250,000 since its inception in 2011.

All funds raised during the Deck the Trees season goes to the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry Fuel Fund, which helps ease heating costs to those in need during the winter months.

Kat Achtemeier, who is on the Deck the Trees committee, announced the amount raised at the end-of-season event.

“From Sept. 15 to Nov. 15, 90 families representing 200 members in those families received over $30,000 from the fuel fund,” Achtemeier said. “Two years ago, 100 gallons of fuel was $300. This cost is almost doubled to $600. The need never goes away.”

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Achtemeier said the total the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry has spent on fuel from Sept. 15 until Christmas was $90,000.

Since beginning in 2011, two organizations have been participating every year: The Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League, also known as the Red House, and The Thread Bears.

Kat Achtemeier hosted the final event of Deck the Trees 2022, which saw participants and sponsors coming together to celebrate the season.

In addition to announcing the total amount raised, the committee also announced which trees most represented the theme and which trees raised the most money. Each category had two winners, one for a tree displayed at the Monte Vista Hotel and another for a tree displayed in the community.

The 2022 Deck the Trees theme was “Let Heaven and Nature Sing” and the three finalists at the Monte Vista were Good Mow Joe, Kilwin’s and Wellspring. For the community, the finalists were the town of Black Mountain, Green Tee Grille and Tyson’s. Good Mow Joe and the town of Black Mountain were determined to best represent the theme. This year, the theme was judged by the residents and staff of Givens Highland Farms.

More:Deck the Trees announces 2022 theme, continues to raise money for SVCM Fuel Fund

Community members were able to vote for their favorite tree by donating, either by a cash box located at each tree or by using a QR code. The three trees that raised the most money at the Monte Vista were Black Mountain Presbyterian Weekday School, the Black Mountain Fire Department and Black Mountain Pickleball. In the community, Tyson’s, Black Mountain Family Eye Car and Kilwin’s raised the most money. Black Mountain Presbyterian Weekday School and Tyson’s made the most money overall in both categories.

To close the event, Achtemeier announced the 2023 theme: Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.