Making Spirits Bright: Community gives back at 12th Annual Festival of Trees event benefiting Rockwall County Helping Hands

Photo by Julie Anne Wells.

ROCKWALL, TX – November 24, 2021 — All was merry and bright at this year’s Festival of Trees Gala as the community celebrated Rockwall County Helping Hands amongst beautifully decorated Christmas trees and a candlelight dinner at the Hilton Dallas / Rockwall Lakefront.


The 12th annual event and the biggest fundraiser of the year for the nonprofit agency invited folks to shop some gorgeous Christmas trees all decked out for the holidays by individuals and organizations in the community. Clothing and other gifts from the Helping Hands Thrift Store and Boutique were also available for guests to get their holiday shopping done early.



Helping Hands of Rockwall County President & CEO Jon Bailey, along with Board of Directors Chairman Brian Llewellyn, recognized several very special individuals in the Awards Ceremony portion of the evening.


The agency’s Vice President of Operations, Melody East, received an honorary Service Award for her 20 years of commitment to the mission of Helping Hands.


Helping Hands Health Center Practice Manager Donna Barnett was presented with the Dr. David. B. Lensch Award for enhancing lives through her dedicated service, commitment and compassion.

Bailey presented his President’s Award – sponsored by Texas Health Hospital Rockwall – to Atmos Energy, for their commitment to the communities of the county and to the agency through regular monetary contributions, including donations to the Share the Warmth program which helps ensure no one in the county goes without shelter or electricity during the cold winter months.


The Ethel Moss Award sponsored by Rockwall Women’s League – an honor bestowed to an individual or organization who dedicates a significant financial resource to Rockwall County Helping Hands – went to the Rockwall County Commissioners Court. In the last 13 years, the Commissioners Court has donated over $1 million to the Helping Hands Health Center, ensuring more than 13,000 folks in the community who fell below the federal poverty level received medical care.


Llewellyn presented the Chairman’s Award (sponsored by Eric Jones) to SL Nabors Roofing for sponsoring the Rockwall County Helping Hands Thanksgiving Baskets, which are assembled and delivered each year so that those less fortunate in the county can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. SL Nabors Roofing has helped provide more than 3,000 turkeys for the baskets over the past 12 years.

Story and photos by Austin Wells.

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