When the 20-foot tall Norway spruce is dedicated tonight, it will be more than a symbol of the holiday season.
The tree gracing the first-floor lobby of the Bucks County Courthouse symbolizes hope and freedom - hope for a future free from addiction.
"The evergreen is a symbolic reminder that recovery benefits the entire community, and we hope that the community at large will join us for this uplifting event," said Bev Haberle, executive director of The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania.
The Tree of Hope has been displayed in the Bucks County Courthouse each year since 1999. It began as a way to remember those who were lost, to recognize those who mentor others through the recovery process and to celebrate long-term recovery.
Organizers said the concept has since been adopted in communities across the state and beyond.
The Council and PRO-ACT (Pennsylvania Recovery Organization–Achieving Community Together) invite the community to help decorate the tree, which will stand in the first-floor lobby of the courthouse throughout the holiday season.
The tree will be decorated with ornaments bearing the names or initials of people who have directly or indirectly experienced addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Ornaments will be available for purchase the evening of the dedication. Proceeds benefit PRO-ACT’s recovery support services and programs.
The dedication ceremony is set for Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 pm. at the courthouse, 55 Court St. in Doylestown. The program will include music by the a capella group Cordus Mundi, personal testimonials and light refreshments.
This year's tree was grown at King’s Indian Head Farm on Eagle Road in Newtown. Organizers said owner Bill King has donated the Tree of Hope each year for many years.