DUNCAN, Okla._It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Stephens County.
Lighted Christmas trees, holiday wreaths and other seasonal decorations have taken over the Simmons Center where preparations are underway for the 14th annual silent Christmas tree and wreath auction. The holiday decor is all donated and then auctioned off in December. All the proceeds will be given to local charities.
This is just the beginning of all the Christmas decorations being brought in by people of Stephens County that will fill the Simmons Center lobby up for this year's auction.
"The event auction items can be large trees, small trees, quilts, table decor, ornaments, you name it, it runs the gamut. There is something you're going to find and fall in love with and take home." Said Loisdawn Jones, director for Duncan's Convention and Visitors Bureau
Jones is the driving force behind the silent auction and says while shoppers go home happy, the real winners are the more than 30 charities that are often left limping through the holiday season.
"For most of our charities, it's a time of stress for individuals who might need to use those services and many times their services are stretched thin. This gives a little extra cash to those charities," Jones explained.
Attesting to that is Betty Burk with "Friends of the Humane Society." She says the animal shelter has helped out with the auction since its start in 2002. She says when you're in the charity business, every penny counts.
"It finishes out our year of fundraising and it means we are able to do just that much more to help all of the animals at the shelter," Burk said.
Burk says around the holidays, the spirit of giving is in full swing with shoppers eager to buy and eager to help.
"I think it's marvelous. Anyone that can do anything to help all of these local charities, it is very generous of them and we're very happy," Burk said.
Over the past 13 years, Jones says around $35,000 have been raised to help out the charities and organizations of Stephens County. She says everyone's humble giving is what really matters.
"It's what the holidays are all about, and it's important for the community to come together and make our back yard a better place to work, live and play," Jones said.