(NOVEMBER 23, 2010, FLINT, MI)—The Genesee Regional Young Professionals (GRYP) is bringing beauty, cheer, and one of the only solar-powered Christmas trees in the Midwest to downtown Flint this holiday season. On Tuesday, November 30, amid the excitement of the Downtown Development Authority’s Flint Holiday Festival, Mayor Dayne Walling will help light up the GRYP Holiday Tree. The tree lighting will take place at 7:15 p.m. on the lawn of the Wade Trim building located at the corner of Second and Saginaw Streets. Don’t miss the fun!

“As young professionals we have taken a 21st century approach with the decorative, solar-powered Christmas tree,” explained Matt Moreau, GYRP Advisory Board. “With this unique tree we believe the focus is not only on the overall holiday beautification for our community, but it is a catalyst of the continued green efforts. The Genesee Regional Young Professionals are thrilled to not only participate in the Flint Holiday Festival, but show off what 30 local sponsors and young professionals coming together can accomplish with effort and creativity.”

“The uniqueness of having a solar-powered Christmas tree shows how innovative and forward thinking the Genesee County Community is,” added Douglas Snyder, GRYP Advisory Board.

GRYP is a volunteer committee of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “GRYP’s enthusiasm and dedication to the development of young professionals is evident in every project they take on,” said Tim Herman, CEO of the Regional Chamber. “This project is another great example of how the group works together to create a sense of community, give back and promote and outstanding kick off to the holiday season.”

GRYP raised this tree with help from local businesses, including Angel sponsor Mid Michigan Solar who has provided the solar power to light the tree during the entire holiday season. Star sponsors include Dee Cramer, RHL Group, and The State Bank. Contributing sponsors are Financial Plus Federal Credit Union, Flint Sign & Design, Christmas for Rent, Green Stewards, Trim Pine Tree Farm, Allied Rent-All, Siwek Construction, and Wade Trim.

There is over $3000 in sponsorships acquired, and GRYP covered all tree and logistical costs through in-kind donations. Half of the donations will be split between Christmas in Action of Genesee County and Carriage Town Ministries. The remainder of the donations will go toward 2011 volunteer projects.

Immediately following the Holiday Tree lighting ceremony GRYP will host The WinterMIX, the group’s second social event. The event will be held at Blackstone’s Pub & Grill, a co-sponsor with Fifth Third Bank. Admission is free for GRYP members; $10 for non-GRYP members. Entrance includes appetizers and cocktails.

GRYP is a membership-based, volunteer committee. It’s geared toward young professionals living and working in Genesee County who want to expand their social networks, grow professionally, and make a difference in our region.  For more information call the Genesee Regional Young Professionals at (810) 618-6769.