RIVERDALE -- Visiting Christmas Tree Jubilee may not top Hannah Hermann's list of to-do holiday events.
Yet it's safe to say the 20-year-old is reminded of this yuletide festival almost every day, whether she's reading a book or simply moving from room to room.
A talking dictionary, provided by funds raised at the tree auction, helps Hermann read words she doesn't understand. A chair lift, which runs along a track on the ceiling at her home, makes it easier for the disabled student to move from her bedroom to her bathroom.
Both items were donated to Hermann, who was born with cerebral palsy, through the annual fundraiser by the Weber School District Foundation.
"I'm just grateful for all that Christmas Tree Jubilee has done for me, not only for me but other students in the district," Hermann says during an interview at her Riverdale home. "All this stuff is so expensive. You don't just have $3,000 to put in a chair lift."
She adds, "It's nice to know there are places that save up money for kids with disabilities."
Hermann, a Bonneville High School graduate now attending Ogden's Canyon View School, will attend Tuesday's dinner and auction for Christmas Tree Jubilee to thank members of the foundation for their support.
Staci Lane, chairwoman for the fundraiser, says Hermann asked if she could say thank you, and Lane was pleased to give her the opportunity, so donors will realize firsthand how they help students with special needs in the Weber and Ogden school districts.
"We thought it would be just great for the audience to see and hear from someone they donate to," Lane says.
When she was in junior high, Hermann also received Christmas Tree Jubilee funds to help her obtain a motorized wheelchair.
"At the time, getting a power chair was not affordable for us," she says.
Everything from hearing aids and simple bathtub seats to chair lifts or wheelchair-accessible vans may be provided for children through the $225,000 raised at the annual tree auction, Lane says.
"It costs a lot of money to have a child with special needs," the chairwoman says, adding that insurance often doesn't cover the total cost of items.
That was the case when Hannah got her motorized wheelchair and her family was left to make the $3,000 co-payment.
"I was just absolutely panicked," says mother Kaye Hermann. "What are you going to do? You have to have the wheelchair."
Getting a chair lift to help Hannah get around the house wasn't something the family had even been thinking about, Kaye Hermann says, until an offer came this year from the foundation.
"It seems like they're there before you even know you need something," Kaye Hermann says.
And, she adds, "(They) have never made us feel bad about it, they just made us feel like 'This is what we do.' ... Hopefully, someday we can give back."
Hermann has long since outgrown her power chair from junior high school and is about to retire "Raspberry," her current chair, for a new silver and blue model yet to be christened.
"You know how people name their cars? I name my power chairs," she says.
A twin, and one of five children in her family, Hermann says she isn't nervous about speaking at Christmas Tree Jubilee because she would like to be a motivational speaker someday.
People with some disabilities are not always able to communicate verbally with others, Hermann says.
"Most of us can't speak up for ourselves, so we need somebody who will," she says.
The Riverdale resident recently competed in the Miss Wheelchair Utah Pageant and was named Miss Congeniality in her age category. She also enjoys camping, boating and hanging out with her friends.
Reading is another favorite hobby, so Hermann says she appreciates the talking dictionary provided by the jubilee. She types in a word and the hand-held device gives her the pronunciation and definitions.
"I'm pretty good at reading, but sometimes there are big, huge words that I can't pronounce," she says, like some of the old-style writing in "To Kill a Mockingbird," a book she recently finished.
All her life, Hermann says, "My disability has never held me back. I've always said I'm going to do this -- if you don't like it, get out of the way."