2015 Festival of Trees

This weekend is the second annual Festival of Trees at Tioga Town Center in Gainesville, benefiting the Children's Miracle Network at UF Health Shands Children's Hospital. This festival brings the Gainesville community together to kick off the holiday season with a weekend-long silent auction of decorated trees and wreaths. Front Street was honored to sponsor this event, and even created a Dr. Seuss themed Christmas Tree entitled "Seuss Street".

Last night, the kickoff party was held where all the trees and wreaths were unveiled! Miracle families shared their stories, child violinists played, and guests got in the spirit with festive appetizers and cocktails, all to spread awareness and raise funds for the Children's Miracle Network at UF Health Shands Children's Hospital. You can visit our tree and many others, and even bid on a tree or wreath which will be delivered to your home by Sunday!

Though the Front Street team was thrilled to be involved in the festival, we also wanted to get a deeper understanding of this amazing cause. We were humbled and honored to take a tour of the facility earlier this year. The UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital was ranked in seven subspecialties last year by US News & World Report, and is the second largest fundraising Children's Miracle Network Hospital in the Network. UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital is the local, Children’s Miracle Network participating hospital for the Gainesville/North Central Florida, Tallahassee/South Georgia and West Palm Beach areas.

Children’s Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for and awareness of children’s hospitals. Children’s Miracle Network’s founding pledge, to keep all donations in the area in which they were raised, remains at the core of its philosophy. Today, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, like all Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, is there 24 hours a day to help kids of every age and background to overcome all types of disease and injury. The mission of the Children’s Miracle Network is to build awareness and raise funds for hospitalized children. The purpose of the organization is to help advance health care for children in our local community. We were truly honored to be a part of this event, and are constantly humbled and amazed by the fantastic work this organization is doing in our community and throughout the country. 

For more information on the Children's Miracle Network, visit their website by clicking here. And be sure to stop by and enjoy the Festival of Trees! Here's the schedule of events: 

Friday, Dec. 4 - Festival of Trees, 3 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 5 - Festival of Trees, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 4 & 5 – Festival of Trees:
You and yours are cordially invited to this family-friendly showcase of trees and wreaths decorated for the holidays. If you see a tree or wreath you’d like to take home, you’ll be able to place a bid via your smart phone and continue to keep an eye on the silent auction from your phone or home computer. The silent auction will end Saturday night and trees will be delivered on Sunday, Dec. 6. In addition to Festival of Trees, you will also be able to enjoy the holiday happenings, and shopping and dining at Tioga Town Center during your visit. These events are open to the public. Donations accepted at the door. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

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Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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