Lions Club Festival of Trees raises record $15,000 for local non-profits | SkyHiNews.com

Lions Club Festival of Trees raises record $15,000 for local non-profits

Bob Boynton
Special to the Sky-Hi News

Levi Brickner watches the train roll by under The Grand County Characters' Christmas tree during the Fraser Valley Lions Club's annual Festival of Trees. The Festival lets local groups raise money by decorating and auctioning off Christmas Trees.

The 12th Annual Festival of Trees, sponsored by the Fraser River Valley Lions Club, broke records in every category. Last Friday night the Grand Park Community Recreation Center was filled with 800 people enjoying beautiful trees, wreaths, and Hanukkah items decorated by 31 local non-profit organizations. This year's attendance topped 2014 by 56 percent.

But the biggest news from this year's Festival is that thanks to the generosity of local businesses and residents, the participating non-profit organizations earned over $15,000 from the sale of their decorated holiday items. Earnings for the non-profits were up 46 percent from last year and easily set an all-time mark!

One hundred ninety (190) children were thrilled to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and submit their Christmas wish list. Over 20 sumptuous desserts donated by local pastry chefs were eagerly bid on by Festival visitors and dozens of wonderful holiday wood carvings by Bill Browne were scooped up by attendees.

The "Fraser Valley Year Round Fun Package" raffle was won by Stacey Rosacci of Granby. The prize was valued at almost $1,300 and included golf, a sleigh ride, restaurant gift certificates, hot air balloon rides, cross country skiing, and summer passes at Winter Park Resort. The money raised by this raffle will be donated back to the community via the Lion's annual grant program for local non-profits.

Attendees chose their favorite trees by purchasing tickets and using them as votes for the tree they liked best. All money paid for the tickets was returned to the participating non-profits. The top vote getter was the tree decorated by National Sports Center for the Disabled (328 votes). Advocates for a Violence-Free Community's tree got 213 votes and garnered 2nd place. The tree decorated by P.E.O. Chapter IE was chosen as the 3rd favorite with 169 votes. The Lions Club also awarded a cash prize to the top three trees.

A team of Lions members delivered all 24 of the trees Saturday morning, bringing cheer to their buyers in Kremmling, Grand Lake, Granby, Tabernash, Fraser, and Winter Park. Four tree buyers really embraced the Christmas spirit and donated their purchases to deserving families in the county.

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The Festival of Trees has become one of the – if not the – favorite holiday event in Grand County. If you didn't get there this year, don't miss next year. Admission is always free.

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