Be a holiday helper
FESTIVAL OF TREES: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at the Columbia Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln St. Silent auction of nearly 180 shimmering trees, wreaths, tabletop trees, stockings, children’s art, menorahs and holiday gifts as well as entertainment by local choirs, dance groups, cheer squad, face painting, local mascots and photos with Santa. Tickets are $2, $5 per family (up to four people). Presented by Aflac, proceeds benefit Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. A full entertainment schedule and tips on bidding from your mobile phone available at http://festivaloftreescolumbia.org
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Points to ponder
35th ANNUAL THANKSGIVING SOUPER: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday at two locations – Eastminster Presbyterian Church, 3200 Trenholm Road and The Manor at Doko Meadows, 171 Langford Road, Blythewood. Chick-fil-A will sponsor the event and with a minimum donation of $2 guests will receive a Chick-fil-A food coupon and a delicious bowl of chicken soup. The simple meal of soup and crackers is an opportunity for families and friends to reflect on hunger and homelessness the week before the traditional Thanksgiving feast. Proceeds benefit the many programs within the Women’s Shelter, such as helping women find temporary emergency shelter, education, employment, family reunification, legal and medical services.
Keep it going
TOM GARRITY’S FIREFIGHTER CHALLENGE: Barbecue cook-off, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Fire Equipment Service (formerly G&G), 1685 Stamey Livestock Road, Sumter. The event honors Garrity, the volunteer firefighter who started the cook-off and passed away two years ago. Family friendly, there will be face painting and antique and fire department vehicles on display. $10 admission includes samplings and voting; you may also purchase barbecue sandwiches, barbecue by the pound, desserts and beverages. Proceeds will benefit the local Red Cross. (803) 775-2363