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Final tally in on Festival of Trees

January 7, 2013
By Marcia Morman

People flooded into Boundary County Fairgrounds Memorial Hall on Saturday, December 8, for the 17th Annual Festival of Trees. The event that began in 1996 to raise money for the local hospital, Boundary Community Hospital, continues today.

The Live Auction is the focus of the evening, but the other events; the envelope quest, the silent auction, the boutique, fund-an-item, and 50/50 were popular activities that kept the night fast-paced and exciting.

"Puttin' on the Ritz," (above)  a Christmas tree cleverly decorated with a golf theme by Karen English, Linda Rupley, Nancy Frederickson and Karen Ovren and sponsored by E-Enterprises, packed a full swing with over $1,700 hanging on its boughs including a $700 golf package at the Coeur d’Alene Resort and Golf and a 2013 Mirror Lake golf pass.

No wonder the bidding went crazy for this tree! Up, up and up it went. Expecting the bidding to slow down at around $500, the crowd grew excited as it climbed higher and higher, stopping at $4,800!

Safeway, Boundary Computer Solutions, and Anheuser-Busch all sponsored at our highest level, the platinum level, each donating $1,250 to the Festival of Trees.

Twenty-six other sponsors committed to the Festival of Trees at various levels. That was just a portion of the support. Over 57 gift certificates valued at $25 or more were donated for the envelope quest. Live auction donations and silent auction donations totaled 67.

For one person to count the volunteers would be almost impossible; so many people helped in so many areas.

This is a big event; just ask Linda Hiatt, Fry Healthcare Foundation President and 2012 Festival of Trees Director.

The members of the Board of Trustees of Boundary Community Hospital, along with the Board of Directors of Fry Healthcare Foundation assisted Mrs. Hiatt in numerous ways. They did a fantastic job selling tickets to the event. Blanche Studer sold the most tickets; her table at the Festival was full of friends who came to enjoy the evening with her.

Businesses, individuals of all ages, community groups and clubs all joined in to help.

The Gala raised a total of $46,000 gross revenues that, after expenses, provide $35,000 that will go directly to support the Fry Healthcare Foundation’s projects for Boundary Community Hospital.

“My thanks to the community who bought tickets and attended the event and to all the businesses in the county that so willing gave gift certificates and sponsorships at different levels,” Linda Hiatt gratefully expressed. “We cannot forget the hard-working crews and all the people who decorated trees.”

“I enjoyed the job. It was a great experience,” continued Mrs. Hiatt. “I think we proved the Festival of Trees can be done on a volunteer basis with a lot of sub-committees. This year was fantastic and The Festival Gala was a huge success. Next year will be even bigger and better,” Linda optimistically predicted.
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