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The Health Foundation’s 30th Anniversary Festival of Trees, presented by Syncrude Canada Ltd. Raises $650,000 (net)!

Fort McMurray, Alberta – This past weekend, over 175 sponsors, 300 volunteers and 8,500 guests came together to kick-off the holiday season at the 30th annual Festival of Trees. The three-day Festival included the Ladies Holiday Luncheon, Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, Festival of Trees Gala, Christmas Family Fun with Santa, Daddy Daughter Sugar Plum Fairy Ball and weekend-long Santa’s Workshop, gift shops, Winter Wonderland tree viewing and local entertainment. Every event featured new elements to delight guests!

Melanie Antoine, Chair of the Health Foundation’s Board of Directors, says, “All of the events were absolutely stellar, the Health Foundation staff, volunteers, and sponsors outdid themselves to put on a huge range of events over the three days. Everyone was having fun and I heard astounding reviews from families and guests who attended. This is truly the event of the year and a fabulous kickoff to the Christmas.”

“We are so grateful to our many sponsors, donors, ticket purchasers, silent and live auction purchasers, guests and volunteers who supported our Festival of Trees this past weekend. The 30th Anniversary really brought out a terrific response from sponsors and the trees were amazing. Many were filled with trips and gifts and gifts cards to local businesses. Most businesses in the region were involved in some capacity with gifts of service, gift cards on trees and in gift baskets and raffles. Even through these challenging economic times the Festival brings out everyone’s desire to support healthcare,” says Cindy Amerongen, Executive Director of the Health Foundation.

Over the past 30 years, the Festival of Trees has raised over $9million (net after all expenses) for local health care, with over 35,000 volunteer hours invested by thousands of community members. Many volunteers have been leading their Festival areas for over 10 years and are delighted to return each year and bring friends and family to share the fun.

Bidding action highlights at the 30th Anniversary Gala included a site-ready truck and tree from Northstar Ford Lincoln which sold at auction for $47,000, the Smoking Hot Backyard BBQ tree package created by friends Tom Wilson, John & April Breadmore, Wayne Woodhouse and Karen Bennet with Bolterup secured $21,000, the Motion Canada Wine tree fetched $18,000 and, the Finning Canada ‘Operation Bear Hug’ tree which reached $23,000!

In the Santa’s Workshop hundreds of families visited the Teddy Bear Workshop, cooking decorating, children’s gift shop and other craft stations. This was the busiest year ever for the Workshop area and we were very pleased to partner with The Heritage Park Society to host the Family Gift Shop. Winter Wonderland also saw a record number of visitors to hear and see the fabulous entertainers, dancers, bell ringers, and storytellers, and to view the trees. Buddy the Elf made a special appearance and Santa and Mrs. Claus kicked off their Christmas visits to the region.

Festival of Trees is the largest of the three signature events hosted by the Northern Lights Health Foundation throughout the year and brings the community together to support healthcare initiatives in our region. We are grateful for everyone’s time and funding for our mission and for confirming that healthcare is a mission for everyone.

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