Festival of Trees has another great year


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December 4, 2014 9:01 AM

Clockwise, from top right, Spiro and Tina Kokonas were the winning bidders for the Pick of the Forest, choosing the Gateway to the Enchantment; Vic Juba and Bill Kruining; Ladies of the Lloydminster Kiwanis Club; Gateway to Enchantment Tree; and Wisdom of the Forest Tree. - Catherine Homes and Chistopher W Brown Photos

While they haven’t matched last year’s numbers, the board of the Festival of Trees Gala is hoping last minute donations will push them over the top.

Monday night, the annual Festival of Trees Gala was held at the Lloydminster Civic Centre, put on by the Richard Larsen Barr Colony Foundation.

Co-chair of the event, Gladys Oracheski, said that like in years past, money raised will go to the Richard Larsen Barr Colony Foundation, but this year a second organization would be receiving some of the money raised.

“As a board we took a vote and decided that the Lloydminster (Community) Youth Centre would receive half of the money that was raised throughout the night,” she said.

Oracheski said that the organization decided to include youth centre because of the transition the organization is going through right now.

“Since they are moving into a new building we thought it was only fitting to give them a donation,” she said.

Oracheski said that the other half of the donation will go towards the organization that puts on the gala, the Richard Larsen Barr Colony Foundation.

“This is our only fundraiser for the year,” she said.

Throughout the night, attendees were given a chance to bid on their favourite trees.

The Gateway to Enchantment tree was bought for $4,100, it was the first tree to sell under the Pick of the Forest category.

The tree was decorated by Katy Messmer and sponsored by Tri Land Welding & Machine Ltd.

Oracheski also said that attendees were given a chance to vote on the people choice tree through out the night.

“Wisdom of the Forest, which was decorated by Dawn Interiors and sponsored by ASL Paving won the People’s Choice tree.”

According to Oracheski, this is the third year in a row that the event was sold out. When asked if there was any plans on expanding the gala to a larger venue, she said, “Currently this is the largest room venue hall that the city has to offer.”

While the official numbers are not known right now, Oracheski said that the board thanks everyone for their volunteerism throughout the night.

“We really want to thank Daryl Amundrud, who was the entertainment for the night, Kurt Price for being the emcee for the night, Cal Donald for doing the live auction,” said Oracheski.

“And everyone else who made the night a success.”

She also wants to thank the community for their continuous support through the years.

“It has been tremendous, the community support has been fabulous, and they never let us down,” she said.

Planning has already gotten underway for next year’s event, which is scheduled for Nov. 30, 2015.

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