SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Shining merry and bright, the FEZtival of Trees is back for another year at the Shrine Mosque in Springfield. 

“We use it as a fraternal fundraiser. It gives us a great opportunity to have the public come into the building to check out the building,” Captain of the Guard Darren Rorrer said. “It’ll be 100 years old next year, so it gives everybody an opportunity to check it out.” 

“We have different businesses and organizations donate fully-decorated trees,” Shrine Ladies member Sarah Watson said.  

People pay $5 dollars to get into the building. For children 12 and under, it’s free. Then anyone attending can purchase raffle tickets for $1 and enter drawings to win trees decorated with gifts. 

“I’m just trying to help local companies and, you know, try and help a lot of people’s lives, try to win a tree and give money to a good cause,” attendee Douglas Dobbs said. 

Another FEZtival goer said she’s primarily here for the performances by local groups. 

“My kids usually perform for their clogging and this is like the third year they will be doing it,” Evelyn Estrada said.  

The event raises around $30,000 each season. 

“We are so blessed to be a part of the Springfield community. We know that we have a very giving community, and we have a lot of those people in our organization as well. It is great to have that support,” Watson added. 

Dobbs and Estrada have their minds set on specific trees.  

“My wife wants the Yellowstone tree, which is right behind us. I’m just for whatever looks the best,” Dobbs said. 

“The Chiefs one, of course. And my kid, he put some [tickets] on a PS4 or something like that,” Estrada added. 

The Abou Ben Adhem Shriners is based in Springfield and are part of the Shriners International fraternity group that is focused on raising money for causes and creating fellowship opportunities in communities.