O Christmas tree, how beautiful are your branches!

Proceeds from the Festival of Trees and All Things Christmas fundraiser to benefit two local charities.

Who wouldn’t love to take the stress out of holiday decorating by purchasing a fully decorated Christmas tree?

Instead of a tree, how about a beautiful wreath? Or baskets full of things to make you feel happy and bright?

You can have it all by supporting the “2021 Festival of Trees and All Things Christmas” fundraiser.

The event kicked off at Northgate Shopping Center on Friday with a groundbreaking ceremony at the live exhibit near the food court.

Proceeds from the online auction will be shared between the North Bay Regional Health Center Foundation and PADDLE (Providing Adults with Developmental Disabilities Lifelong Experiences).

Auction items are available to view.

The Foundation’s President and CEO, Tammy Morison, called it a “hybrid festival”.

“We hope that having something is a person where people can come in and see the auction items to inspire people to participate in the auction and actually come and feel that Christmas feeling and know that they are supporting also two incredibly worthy charities, ”Morison said.

Organizers hope to raise $ 15,000 with the Foundation’s share for the MRI upgrade project at CRSNB.

“This is a $ 1.67 million project that basically refurbished our entire MRI except for the big magnet, and we’re essentially getting a brand new MRI at a fraction of the cost. to serve our community. It’s going to be faster, better, safer, and allow more scans per year, ”explained Morison.

In partnership with the PADDLE (People Living with Developmental Disabilities Lifelong Experiences) program, he will share the festival’s proceeds.

Chief Executive Officer Megan Johnson said it has been a long road for PADDLE, as it has for many charities that serve vulnerable people, especially those not funded by the government.

“We’re still here and still providing service and it’s thanks to our generous community. PADDLE is truly a community program, ”explained Johnson.

The organization currently has a list of 30 registered customers with a waiting list of 15 more. Clients are 21 and over and participate in all kinds of activities including ‘learning life skills, hobbies, volunteer work, whatever kind of wellness they seek. Cooking, washing all that stuff and of course the fun stuff like dancing, meeting people and having friends, doing all the things everyone else does that we take for granted, shopping, going to the mall , eat out.

Johnson says his share of the money raised will likely go towards operating costs.

“What are the costs we have the most trouble fundraising for? So things like rent, heat, and food.

The goal of the festival is to raise $ 15,000 when all is said and done.

Not only are trees available to bid on, but wreaths, lanterns, gift baskets, and even an Adirondack chair.

“So many beautiful ornaments all over the decor. So there is something for everyone. There’s even a pair of men’s shoes, ”Morison noted.

Auctions can be done from the comfort of your own home.

“You can look at your auction and you will see that when you register for the online auction, they will notify you when you are out of auction. So you can come in and bid again, ”Morison explained.

“Certainly, while you’re here you can bid using your mobile device. There are also a few raffles, so you can come and buy raffle tickets. “

COVID may have reduced the size of the festival, but organizers hope it hasn’t reduced people’s generosity.

“We had an online-only auction last year and we just wanted to have this opportunity to see the items in person which I think makes all the difference,” Morison said.

“And being in a public place that is safe, wide open and complies with all protocols is also very important. And being in our mall, I think people are in the Christmas spirit when they are here to do all their Christmas shopping, they can go by and see the “Festival of Trees and All Things Christmas”.

The festival is open to the public from Friday November 19 until the closing day on Friday November 26 at 4:00 p.m.

Opening of auctions every day from 11:00 a.m.

Auctions are placed online at https://www.32auctions.com/festivaloftrees2021.

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