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Institute for Advanced Learning and Research trees for a cause

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(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

DANVILLE (WSLS 10) Decorating the Trees for a Cause is a program sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research that raises money for local causes and charities while bringing the community together in the spirit of the holidays. Over the past five years more than $54,000 has been raised through this program. Participants setup and decorate a tree in honor of a chosen non-profit organization. Community members vote for their favorite tree or charity by giving a monetary donation. All participants receive 100% of the donations made for their trees. The two trees earning the most donations received a bonus of $1,300 for first place and $800 for second place.

The SPCA of Pittsylvania County raised the most money and was awarded a $1,300 bonus for a donation total of $4,826.07 to the organization.

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"For us to be able to participate in the Institute's program is a wonderful way for us to communicate to the community in a way that is educational and pleasing to the eye. We hope all who viewed and voted for our organization also enjoyed our tree. To win this contest helps us remember we are providing a voice for the animals who cannot speak for themselves. This will save many more lives of homeless and unwanted animals. Their forever homes await them and everyone who voted helped to save them," said Cathryn East, President of the SPCA of Pittsylvania County.

The Dan River High School DECA tree came in second place for a total donation of $3,345.19, including a bonus of $800. The benefitting charity is the Claire Parker Foundation.

"We look forward to this event every year and we are very thankful for all of the generous donations that were made to help the Claire Parker Foundation tree win second place! This will help the foundation to create more care boxes for families that are fighting pediatric cancer," said Lori Jones, a marketing teacher at Dan River High School.

The third place bonus of $400 was selected by a random drawing and was awarded to Habitat for Humanity. The organization received a total of $469.30. The bonus awards were sponsored by Centra, JTI Leaf Services, and Sodexo. The total donations made to over 50 local charities and causes was $16,042.97.

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Public voting took place November 30 through December 22 at IALR.