Deck the Halls: A Holiday Tradition benefiting Project Horizon

Call me crazy, but I love this time of year. While most directors probably have visions of purple ribbons and calendars full of candlelight vigils and lunchtime lectures, my office looks like Santa himself has stopped by for an early visit. That is because in the midst of Domestic Violence Awareness Month we are also planning our annual black-tie gala, Deck the Halls, to be held on November 19, 2016 at VMI in Lexington, VA.

This year marks the 16th year for Deck the Halls which began as a Festival of Trees. Voted the #1 Charity Event in the Shenandoah Valley by Virginia Living Magazine for the past three years, Deck the Halls is more than a fundraiser, it is a community event. It is always held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Deck the Halls marks the beginning of the holiday season for the Rockbridge community. Over 300 guests gather in their finest attire for dinner, dancing, live and silent auctions. Our featured auction item this year is a 16’ x 24’ English Style Cottage Frame created by the Timber Framers Guild and VMI Cadets. It is truly a magical evening.


While the twinkling lights and holiday décor set the stage for the magic, that is really not what makes Deck the Halls so special. Each year when I look over the crowd, I pause to give thanks for the many people who have come together to make the event such a great success. The 15-member DTH committee, the decorators, the caterers, the auction donors, the auctioneer, the table hosts, and every person in attendance is there because they believe in and support the work of Project Horizon. We cannot do this work alone. We will never fulfill our mission of working to end domestic, dating and sexual violence in the Rockbridge community if we do it in a vacuum. Amidst the glitter and glam of the holiday season, our community comes together to make a difference in the lives of survivors. That is what makes the evening so magical.


If you would like to join us and experience the magic yourself, call 540-463-7861 for reservations. Tickets are $85 each or $640 for a reserved table of 8.

Judy Casteele is the Executive Director of Project Horizon, serving the Rockbridge Area of Virginia. She is also on the Governing Body of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance. She has worked in and supported anti-violence work across various agencies and communities for over 20 years. 


Joining the Action Alliance adds your voice to making change in Virginia. Start your membership today or call 804.377.0335. 

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