Mayor Sly James of Kansas City flipped the switch Friday on the Mayor’s Christmas Tree, launching the holiday season and a time of generous giving for needy residents.
The Mayor’s Christmas Tree Association is on pace to raise $80,000 this year, which should help about 7,000 people, mayor’s spokesman Danny Rotert said.
The money is generated through donations and ornament sales. Top donors giving $5,000 each were Burns McDonnell, Black Veatch and Cosentino’s Food Stores.
“The Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund has been one of this city’s great traditions for 104 years,” James said in a prepared statement. “It is another example of Kansas Citians taking care of one another. The tree is beautiful, but far more than that, it is a symbol of this community and the spirit of charity this time of year.”
James was joined in flipping the switch by Kansas City Chiefs Ambassadors, including Bobby Bell, Kendall Gammon, Ted McKnight and Duane Clemons. The Kansas City Symphony Chorus helped lead the crowd in carols.
The money raised will go in part to selected charities: ReStart, Catholic Charities, Rose Brooks Center, Salvation Army and Bishop Sullivan Center.
Hallmark is taking pre-orders for the ornament made from last year’s tree. The $12.50 ornament is available at Crown Center Customer Service or by phone at 816-274-7251. Sales proceeds go to the fund.
Contributions to the fund also can be made atwww.kcmayor.org.