The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) will hold an Open House on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 4:30-6:30 p.m., for the 9th annual Decorating the Trees for a Cause event, which raises funds for local charities. The event, free and open to the public, will feature more than 40 decorated trees, complimentary refreshments, musical performances and the opportunity to visit with Santa.

“The Open House for our Decorating the Trees for a Cause program is an opportunity for families and the community to gather and enjoy the festivities of the holiday season while also giving back to those nonprofit organizations who do so much to support our area throughout the year” said Ellen Bass, Marketing and Sales Manager at the Institute Conference Center. “We hope people will take advantage of this opportunity to view some spectacular and creatively decorated trees, hear some heartwarming and uplifting musical performances and experience the joy of the season.”

Each decorated tree represents a charitable organization for which the community is invited to vote in the form of a donation during the holiday display period. All participants receive 100 percent of their collected donations.

The following groups will share musical performances at the Open House: Park Avenue Elementary Chorus at 5 p.m., Forest Hills Elementary Chorus at 5:30 p.m. and Danville Area Choral Arts Society at 6 p.m.

Santa will make an appearance at the Open House as well. For a $5 donation to a participating tree/charity of choice, visitors may visit with Santa and are welcome to take photos if desired.

The tree voting period is currently open and ends at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20. Voting takes place Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. IALR will hold special extended hours for the public to view and vote for the trees on the following dates: Dec. 1 from 6-8 p.m.; Dec. 14, 17 and 19 from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Last year, the event raised $14,955.31 of funds for local charities. Over the past eight years, a total of $85,496.61 has been raised for nonprofits.

For more information, please contact Ellen Bass at (434) 766-6743 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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