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Festival of Trees right around the corner!

November 25, 2012
Once a year, acting almost like elves, volunteers for the Fry Healthcare Foundation transform the Boundary County Fairgrounds into the Festival of Trees.

Inside the Exhibit Hall, thousands of sparkling lights flicker illuminating the stars of the evening: Christmas trees decorated to grace the most elaborate home or office. Guests, having driven in the early evening twilight through snow-lined roads, enter through the double-doors, one by one, by twos, and in small groups, all dressed in their most festive attire.

They are there to greet their neighbors, to wish their friends “Merry Christmas," to share dinner together, to enjoy the music, to compete in a friendly but sometimes fierce, auction, and to be a part of the Fry Foundation’s Festival of Trees as it raises money for worthy projects for their local hospital, Boundary Community Hospital.

This year the Family Day is 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, December 7, and the Gala Night is Saturday, December 8, with doors opening at 5 p.m., the dinner buffet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and the live auction at 7 p.m.

All are encouraged to be part of the Festival of Trees; those who have lived in Boundary County all their lives, those who arrived this year, those who live elsewhere but would like to help support the community’s hospital, and everyone in-between.

Support comes in many forms during the Festival of Trees. Individuals, companies, and corporations can purchase sponsorships; an individual or a group can decorate a themed tree; an attendee to the Gala Night can purchase a decorated tree or other auctioned items by bid during the evening; and volunteers can help behind the scenes to coordinate and produce the production.

Sponsorship Opportunities are as follows; $1,250 Platinum Sponsorship includes premier seating at an elegant table for eight guests at the Gala Event, four tickets to Family Night, half-page recognition in the program, and signage in a prominent area within the event. $800 Gold Sponsorship includes four tickets to Gala Night, a listing in the program and signage at the event. $500 Silver Sponsorship includes two tickets to the Gala Night, a listing in the program and signage at the event. $250 Bronze Sponsorship includes listing in the program and signage at the event and a $100 Copper Sponsorship includes a listing in the program.

Wednesday, December 5, is set aside for those who would like to participate in decorating a fresh green tree.

Fry Foundation purchases the trees. Decorators choose a theme for their trees and submit their selection to the Tree committee. Decorators purchase all supplies for their tree and come to the Fairgrounds on the decorating day ready to complete their tree. Decorating ideas, tips and guidelines are available from the Tree Committee. These trees are the center focus of the Gala Night and auction and are fun to decorate. Bids for the trees reach several hundreds of dollars during the Gala Night and then the Tree Committee delivers the tree to the purchaser the next day.

Artificial trees purchased by the decorator are decorated before hand, and brought to the fairgrounds complete, or may be decorated on decoration day when the live trees are decorated.

The Festival of Tree committee welcomes other donations to the auctions including wreaths, baskets, stockings and creative groupings of items. Call the “auction committee” for ideas at (208) 610-4175.

This year, The Festival of Trees consists completely of volunteers.

Linda Hiatt, President of the Fry Healthcare Foundation, is coordinating this huge undertaking, which includes the Gala Event on Saturday and a Family Night on Friday. She welcomes volunteers, and especially encourages those who are new to the area to come and volunteer. It is a great way to give to the community and to get to know people.

The final way of support is to attend one, or both, of the events, whether you are a sponsor or not. While there, be prepared to participate in the auction.

Funds raised this year will go to purchase a new piece of equipment for one of the hospital’s departments.

The Fry Foundation is closing in on $1-million worth of purchases for the hospital, including large purchases of a CT Scan, almost $300,000, to smaller purchases like the television for the Extended Care Facility.
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