PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The JT Townsend Foundation is hosting a Christmas Tree Tour in honor of JT Townsend, who died suddenly six months ago.
He suffered a near fatal spinal cord injury during a football game in 2004, but recovered and dedicated his life helping the community that generously helped him.
His foundation is hosting the tree tour in Marsh Landing Harbour on Saturday.
All the money raised goes to help disabled children and adults in our area who need equipment or just financial assistance.
Organizers said this was an event JT loved, and although he won't be at the event, his spirit definitely will be.
"JT loved this event. He loved Christmas," said Judy Zitiello, Board Chair of the JT Townsend Foundation.
As Zitiello and other members of the JT Townsend Foundation board prepare for the third annual event, they can't help but think of JT.
"We feel his presence and we know that he would want his work this work that he began to continue and that's exactly what we will do," said Zitiello.
They're doing that with 27 beautifully decorated Christmas Trees, filled with 2,500 hand-blown collectible ornaments.
Richard Masulli and his wife started preparing for the event on the first week of October. It takes weeks to put everything up.
Masulli admits the process has been difficult without JT, but said the event had to go on.
"That was never a question. Absolutely he would have wanted that. And so we didn't even miss a beat when it came to whether we were going to do it or not," said Masulli.
Masulli said he loves sharing his trees and ornaments with visitors. With all money going to help disabled children and adults on the First Coast, it's even more meaningful.
In addition to looking at ornaments, visitors can also take one home, including this years "JT Gives Back" ornament, which JT designed himself before he passed away.
"When you take that ornament out each year we just hope that you'll think about JT and living like JT lived in giving back," said Zitiello.
The event is Saturday, December 7th at 121 Bristol Place in Marsh Landing Harbour
from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person.
To purchase a ticket and for event information, visit www.JTgivesback.org.