The Armed Services YMCA exceeded its $70,000 goal with a sold-out crowd at its Festival of Trees fundraiser Friday night.

Tony Mino, executive director, said he didn’t have an exact figure of the amount raised at the event, but it exceeded the organization’s goal.

More than 1,000 people filled the Killeen Civic and Conference Center on Friday gathering around the 12 intricately decorated Christmas trees, each overflowing with presents underneath. Attendees put $1 tickets in a box in front of trees they wanted a chance to win.

Mino said this year’s event was the first time they had a sold-out crowd.

“It’s just a fun time and we try to make it as fun as possible,” he said. “We don’t have speakers or anything. Everyone just comes out and has a great time being with each other, listening to the band and trying to win one of the trees. It’s just a big party to support a great cause.”

Mino said each year the YMCA tries to outdo itself with its creativity in decorating trees. This year, trees were themed with popular Christmas songs. Winners took home all the ornaments on a tree and the presents below.

“It just keeps getting better every year,” Mino said. “It’s wonderful.”

Funds raised through the event help with financial assistance for child care and other YMCA programs.

Mino said topping this year’s event “will be a challenge.”

Contact Natalie Stewart at or 254-501-7555

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.