Festival of Trees spreads the wealth


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January 22, 2015 10:38 AM

Richard Larsen Barr Colony Foundation (RLBCF) chair Gladys Oracheski awards a $25,500 cheque to president of the Lloydminster Community Youth Centre (LCYC) Les Hanson. Also pictured, from left, Festival of Trees co-chair and secretary Sheila Schneider and Kerry Oestreicher, and RCBCF treasurer Len Long. This year the RCBCF partnered with the LCYC to raise money during the Festival of Trees. - Josef Jacobson Photo

The Richard Larsen Barr Colony Foundation (RLBCF) is splitting its charity proceeds from its Festival of Trees fundraiser with the Lloydminster Community Youth Centre (LCYC).

This year, the Festival of Trees raised $51,000, up from last year’s total of $48,000.

On Jan. 15 at the Lloydminster Cultural and Science Centre, RLBCF chair Gladys Oracheski awarded a $25,500 cheque to LCYC president Les Hanson, representing the LCYC’s share of the earnings.

“We chose to partner with the (Lloydminster) Community Youth Centre this year because we wanted to spread the funds a little bit,” she said. “We chose to spread it around to the community to another organization that needs it, and with them moving into the old RCMP building, they need it for the renovations.”

Oracheski says the Festival of Trees always sells out as soon as tickets go on sale, and this year was no exception.

“It’s in high demand. It’s a nice gala evening to come out and have fun and raise funds for the community,” she said. “(The trees) were gorgeous. Every year the trees amaze me, the creativity that goes into them. The businesses in town are always more than willing to come and decorate the trees.”

LCYC president Les Hanson says the organization was excited to be a part of the Festival of Trees, and would be happy to team up with the RLBCF in the future.

“We were approached by the museum board and asked, ‘Are you interested in partnering?’ and we said, ‘That would be awesome, what do we have to do?’ knowing it was a great event. They gave us a list of what they would like us to help with and we were more than happy to and had a lot of fun doing it,” he said. “We didn’t just jump, we said, ‘How high and is this high enough?’ on the way up.”

Hanson says the partnership between the museum and the youth centre is natural.

“The future and the past is what we really are,” he said.

“We’re trying to establish some solid structure and foundation for the youth of our community, to build them going forward. And the museum is at the other end of it, where it’s those past quality people that have built what we have today.”

The RLBCF raises money to fund efforts to restore and preserve heritage property around Lloydminster, including old churches and government buildings. RLBCF treasurer Len Long says most of the museum’s money comes from donations and visitors.

“There’s just so much we could do if the funding was there,” he said.

The next Festival of Trees will be held on Nov. 30, 2015.

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