It is the right season for the Community Crisis Center Inc. to announce its upcoming fund-raising program - because it is ghost-like.

This year, the center will host a “phantom festival.”

“The Festival of Trees has been a beloved event for the past seven years, but every so often things need a change,” said DeeDee Cox, the center's executive director. “Although we are not going to have the party, we are going to invite people to contribute to the mission of CCCI.”

The goal for the phantom festival is to raise $30,000 which is the amount that was collected at last 2007 Festival of Trees event.

The goal of the Crisis Center is to help victims of domestic abuse.

Begun as a shelter for women who were the victims of domestic abuse in Ottawa County, it has, over the years, expanded its services to Craig and Delaware Counties.

Today, it also runs a program to help batterers stop abuse.

Chairman of the phantom festival is Shelly Thomas and Charise Mangum of Arvest Bank is a volunteer on the committee.

“This year we won't be selling the trees and other Christmas items decorated and donated by local agencies and businesses,” Thomas said. “Instead we're going to call people and ask them to again make the donation that did last year.”

“We believe that people believe in the importance of the Crisis Center's mission,” Mangum said.

Cox is concerned that the Crisis Center is going to become even more important to the community in the near future.

“Chances are the need for an agency like the Crisis Center is going to increase if the economy continues on its current downturn,” she said.

The Crisis Center does everything it can to receive funding outside the community.

This year, will be a maintenance year for the Crisis Center as opposed to an expansion year.

Professional strategic planners and fund raisers are scheduled to visit the Crisis Center and help make plans for the future.

“In lots of ways we're already a leader in rural areas in Oklahoma,” Cox said. “With the help of a planner and fund raiser we only hope to get better.

“We plan to pause and reflect on the seriousness of domestic violence.”

Announcements will be sent to last year's donors announcing the change in the fund raiser program.

A reception will be held at the Miami Country Club in January to thank all the donors for this year.