Fest of trees lights up LCSC

By Geoff Lee

November 24, 2016 12:00 AM

TREES THE CHARM Mary Ann Reyes, administration support worker at the Lloydminster Cultural & Science Centre, shows off one of seven decorated trees for a live auction at the Festival of Trees Gala on Nov. 28. The gala is a fundraiser for the centre. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

This year’s Festival of Trees Gala will be scaled back a bit with just seven decorated trees for live auction instead of the usual 16, due to the economy.
However, this year’s gala won’t lack for importance as the only fundraiser of the year for the Richard Larsen Barr Colony Foundation.
“It’s extremely important for many reasons to bring awareness to the Lloydminster Cultural and Science Centre (LCSC) and to showcase the talent of businesses to decorate the trees,” said Gladys Oracheski, a volunteer coordinator of the gala.
Oracheski shares the coordinator duties with Natalie Clysdale, supervisor of LCSC, on an 11 person committee to raise funds at the gala for various LCSC projects.
“The cultural centre is a huge value to the City of Lloydminster—it preserves our heritage and we need to remember that,” said Oracheski.
Last year, the gala and the live auction generated about $22,000 for the foundation, but it’s anyone’s guess what this year’s total will be with fewer trees.
“We’ve cut back on trees this year—it’s the first time we are still not sold out, which is par for the course now for the community,” said Oracheski, who attributes it to the economy.
The gala will take place at LCSC on Nov. 28 starting at 6:30 p.m with appetizers and wine with a live auction starting at 8:30 p.m.
The funds raised will go towards the restoration of historical artifacts that are within LCSC.
“The last few years we’ve been working on the Rendell House, but it’s just about complete, so then they’ll pick a new project,” said Oracheski.
Oracheski says the decorated auction trees are always a wonder to behold.
“I’m always in awe anyway with what the decorators come with,” she said.
This year’s decorating theme is Christmas Eve in the Garden.
The trees are on view all week at LCSC with the price of general admission.
Each of the trees has been purchased and decorated by different sponsors with two business names on each tree.
Those who can’t make it to the gala are invited to view the trees during a Cookies and Carols family day this Saturday at LCSC.
Admission is by a “silver collection” and there will be crafts for the kids, entertainment and cookies.
Tickets to Monday night’s gala are still available in advance and at the door for $35 per person.
For more information, call LCSC at 780-874-3720.

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