Christmas tree raffle at Promenade Temecula to benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley

One of the trees in the Christmas Tree Lane display at the Promenade Temecula was a Star Wars tree complete with Stormtroopers, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and BB-8. The tree will be raffled to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley. Alex Groves photo

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas at the Promenade Temecula and not just because of the holiday sales, the frenzied shoppers and the seasonal music playing somewhere in the background.

Nestled in a hallway near the first floor of the Macy’s women’s department sits a line of 20 dazzling Christmas trees adorned with bows, lights and in one case, Star Wars Stormtroopers. The trees will be raffled off to raise money for Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley.

The display of trees, called Christmas Tree Lane, was put up at the Promenade, Nov. 11, and mall visitors will be able to enjoy it through Dec. 12, according to Jesse Gentry, a volunteer marketer for Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley.

People who would like to take home one of the special trees can do so by purchasing raffle tickets for $1 per ticket or $20 for a pack of 25, she said.

Gentry, who has volunteered to help with Christmas Tree Lane both this year and last year, said that she often sees mall shoppers stop to take in the wide selection of themed trees, including a nutcracker tree, Dia de Los Muertos tree, a Chevrolet tree and a tree covered with gift cards.

“They like to point out their favorite trees, and I think they’re just surprised by the amount of decorations and how well they’re decorated,” she said. “They’re very pretty trees.”

Gentry said she knows of two young people who particularly enjoy the experience.

“I take my niece and nephew every year because they like to pick their favorite trees to buy raffle tickets for,” she said.

Gentry said her niece and nephew particularly liked the Star Wars Tree, a Beauty and the Beast tree and a tree decorated with candy this year.

Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley Executive Director Tammy Marine praised the people who made the elaborate display possible.

“We are so proud of this year’s Christmas Tree Lane,” Marine said in a statement. “It’s a cumulative of hours of volunteerism, the generosity of our sponsors and artistry of our designers. We’d like to think the beautiful display also makes a statement about the power of collaboration while celebrating diversity.”

Habitat for Humanity’s Inland Valley Chapter is based in Temecula and works to help make homeownership a possibility for people in the Temecula Valley and beyond.

For more information about the organization, visit their website at www.habitativ.org.

The winners of a Christmas tree raffle will be announced, Dec. 12, in the final phase of a long-running event to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley. Alex Groves photo

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