Second annual Festival of Trees aims to spread holiday cheer, raise money for Terrace hospital

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The Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation’s Festival of Trees is returning for its second year on Nov. 20 and 21.

This year’s edition will take place at the Heritage Park Museum and comply with COVID-19 guidelines. Attendees are asked to bring and wear their own masks and there will be no more than 50 people in the park at one time.

“It’s going to be quite the happening place, it could be really busy but we have all our pylons coming in to do lineups and socially distance signs up the wazoo and of course it’s a fully masked event,” said Heather Bellamy, Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation administrative assistant.

People will have the opportunity on Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to take a physically-distanced photo with a vintage Nordic Santa and enter a raffle for decorated mini-Christmas trees.

Departments at Mills Memorial Hospital and the medical and business communities were invited to take a miniature tree and decorate it. Those trees are then displayed at the festival to the public who can win them in a raffle. There are 21 miniature trees this year.

“Some of them are valued up to $500 worth of loot on the tree or under the tree, for example last year there was a pet tree and it had easily $500 worth of not just gifts for your dog but snacks, grooming certificates, all kinds of stuff,” Bellamy said.

Admission is $2 each day and raffle tickets are priced at three for $10, or one for $5. There are also five full size corporate trees available to be won and silent auction items that can be bid on on-site or through the Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation Auction Facebook page.

There will also be apple cider, cookies and hot Indian take-out by donation provided by the Skeena Gursikh Society.

All proceeds from the event will go toward the purchase of a $211,000 ultrasound with echo-cardiogram for Mills Memorial Hospital. Bellamy said that the foundation is close to having the funds for the machine and hopes the Festival of Trees will be enough to “wrap it up for Christmas.”

Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News