Charity tree contest kicks off at GPO

December 7, 2008

Charity tree contest kicks off at GPO

By Faith V. Realica

For Pacific Sunday News

The third annual Shieh Su Ying Charity Tree Contest kicked off at yesterday at Guam Premier Outlets in Tamuning.

More than 20 nonprofit organizations are participating in the contest. Representatives from the organizations picked numbers yesterday to see which Christmas tree they would adopt and decorate.

This year’s theme is “Christmas Movies.”

Participants will be given until this Wednesday to decorate their trees with their selected items. Judging will begin on Thursday or Friday, said Dr. Thomas Shieh, who organizes the contest. The winner will be announced Saturday.

Giving back

“It is the Shieh Su Ying Charity Tree Contest — named after my grandmother, who had a significant influence on me while I was growing up,” Shieh said. “She died of pancreatic cancer, and her and my mom, Toshiko Shieh, always taught me to do good and give to charity.”

The trees will be judged based on the following criteria: originality, creativity and representation of their respective organization with each category being 5 points.

Alongside the trees, the organizations will place charity boxes to collect public donations. The boxes will be monitored.

Monetary prizes will be issued to three winners.

First place will receive $1,500, second place will receive $1,000 and third place will receive $500.

Shieh encourages participants to get creative with their decorations and also hopes that the public will come out and support the cause.

SKID Kid Foundation volunteer Jina Rojas is eager to begin the project to raise funds for the “Drive for Maria Hope.” Maria Hope is a local child battling a rare immune deficiency called Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, or SCID.The condition is extremely rare, occurring in 1 in 500,000 to 1 in 1,000,000 people, according to Shieh.

“It’s really exciting to see what the other organizations have come up with,” Rojas said. “The charity tree contest is a really good cause.”

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