The Forest Grove Chamber of Commerce will kick off what it hopes will become an annual event next week when the Holiday Festival of Charity Lights opens to the public on Wednesday, Dec. 13.

Sponsored by Summerfield Homes and John L. Scott Realty, the festival has solicited local businesses and groups to decorate nine unoccupied houses in Summerfield's new Oak Hill Settlement subdivision on the city's north side, near Forest Grove High School.

Members of the public can tour the houses, sip hot cocoa and vote for their favorites either by filling out a voting slip or by making a contribution to a designated charity that has been named by each house's sponsor. Each dollar of a contribution counts as a vote. In addition, the top three vote-getters will split $6,000 in prize money donated by Summerfield.

'In the true spirit of the Christmas Season, this is a dream come true for those of us trying to raise money for important causes,' said Ray Giansante, of the West Tuality chapter of Habitat for Humanity, which has a house sponsored by 84 Lumber in Forest Grove. 'I urge all of Forest Grove to take part in this wonderful event to help fund their favorite charity.'

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