Get your Christmas tree and help a good cause at the 14th Annual Festival of Trees |

Get your Christmas tree and help a good cause at the 14th Annual Festival of Trees

At the 2014 Fraser Valley Lions Club's Festival of Trees.
File photo |

The Fraser River Valley Lions Club is throwing its 14th annual Festival of Trees at the Grand Park Community Recreation Center on Friday, inviting residents and businesses from around the county to pick up their Christmas trees while donating to one of a myriad of local non-profit organizations.

On Friday morning, 28 non-profits, including Mountain Family Center, Grand Angels, Grand County Pet Pals and more, will gather in the recreation center’s gymnasium to decorate trees and wreathes donated by the Fraser River Valley Lions Club. In the afternoon residents are encouraged to stop by and bid on trees during a silent auction. The non-profits receive 100 percent of whatever they’re able to raise for their respective tree.

“Last year we had over 900 people show up,” said Jan Boynton from the Lions Club. “It sort of kicks off the holiday season for the valley.”

Visitors will also have the option to purchase “favorite tree” tickets, which they can leave with their favorite tree or charitable organization to help them raise a little extra money.

“They sell for about a dollar a piece, and you can walk around and find a tree that you like the best and leave your ticket,” said Boynton. “For each of those tickets the non-profit gets that money as well.”

Boynton said that the event raised about $14,500 in total for local charities last year, and she expects a similar outcome this year.

On top of the silent tree auction the event will also feature a visit from Santa Clause, an auction of donated desserts from local restaurants, a raffle and plenty of food.

“Santa arrives at 5:30 and he’s usually there until about 6:30 or 7,” said Boynton. “The children can get their pictures with him. A bunch of local restaurants donated desserts for an auction. We also have donated appetizers and finger foods. This year we even have a hot dog stand for the kids.”

The festival begins at 4 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. Friday. Purchased trees will be delivered the next morning.

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