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The Great Decorate raises funds for foster teens

The Great Decorate, a holiday tree decorating contest between downtown Birmingham merchants and restaurants, will not only celebrate the holidays and delight visitors, but help foster at-risk needy teens.


The Great Decorate began in 2019 by Birmingham restaurant Hazel, Ravines and Downtown, now known as Hazel's, and has since spread throughout downtown Birmingham with numerous establishments participating to decorate a tree in The Great Decorate 2021 and compete to raise as much money as possible to assist teens who are about to age-out of the foster care system at age 18 and need support.


Each year 26,500 teens age out of the foster care system and are forced to live independently. In Michigan, that accounts for 1,700 teens in need.


The goal of The Great Decorate 2021 is to visit as many of the businesses and vote and donate for your favorite tree. Donations made through The Great Decorate, a non-profit organization, will be divided evenly among the recipients and provided to them on their 18th birthdays, said Stephanie Casola, spokesperson.


The decorated trees are displayed in the entrance or front window of all participating downtown Birmingham businesses, and the public is encouraged to come see them through December 31, 2021, Casola said.


Participating businesses stand to win something, too. More than $12,000 in prizes will be distributed between two winners – $6,000 to the business that earns the most votes and $6,000 to the business whose decorated tree is chosen by a panel of judges.


This year's participating businesses include: 220 Merrill; Adachi; Barbara Boz Boutique; Bridal Couture of Birmingham; Churchill's; Daxton Hotel; Emagine Palladium; Fab'rik; FIGO Salon; Forest Grill; The French Lady; Greenleaf Trust; Harp's Lingerie; Hasten's; Hazel's; Luxe Bar & Grill; Market North End; The Morrie; Phoenicia; Prima Piatti; Sal’s (formerly Salvatorre Scalllopini); Sidecar Slider Bar; Social Kitchen; St. Croix Shop; Streetside Seafood; Tender; The Italian Dish; Toast; The Townsend Hotel; and Urban Wick Candle Bar.

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