REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Hospice of Redmond's annual fundraising event, Festival of Trees, will be transformed into a COVID-friendly event for the second year. The event will feature a Tour of Trees to support local businesses and community partners while allowing safe social distancing.
The two-week event will lead up to and culminate with a virtual auction to support various hospice services for the uninsured.
"COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on our community, as healthcare providers we feel we must do whatever we can to keep our community safe,” said Karla Stead, Executive Director of Hospice of Redmond. “We also feel the importance of keeping our annual Festival of Trees tradition alive in the hearts of our community."
Festival of Trees has been a Central Oregon tradition for 37 years. The event helps fund many of the nonprofit's hospice and palliative care services and is their most significant source of fundraising each year. Like last year, Tour of Trees 2021 will allow the Central Oregon community to enjoy Festival of Trees while safely viewing beautifully decorated trees either in person or online. The event will also provide a live virtual auction scheduled for Saturday, December 5th.
Hospice of Redmond is accepting Tree Decorator applications through September 30th. They will match each tree with a host location that is a local business or community partner. Tree Decorators will decorate the trees at the host location on November 17th – 20th. Tree viewing will occur from November 21st – December 4th. We will post tree locations, descriptions, sponsors, decorators, and additional details on social media and the Hospice of Redmond website to encourage viewing and bidding on trees. Also, event signs directing Tour of Trees' viewers to the tree locations will be placed along the route. Trees will be auctioned during a live virtual auction on Saturday, December 4th, with trees delivered to the winning bidders on December 5th.
"We are still looking for Redmond businesses who want to host the trees," said Jane McGuire, Operations Manager at Hospice of Redmond. “We loved that Tour of Trees brought traffic into many of our local businesses last year. The trees must be placed in a large window so people can safely view it from outside if the business is closed or the viewer isn't comfortable entering the facility."
Funds raised at Festival of Trees make it possible for Hospice of Redmond to provide terminally ill people and their families services not covered by Medicare or private insurance. These services include bereavement counseling, the Transitions program for people with life-limiting illnesses, and Camp Sunrise, an annual grief camp for children throughout Central Oregon.
While last year's Tour of Trees was successful as an event and brought much-needed traffic into many of our community businesses, there was a significant decrease in fundraising over prior years. The goal for 2021 will be to recruit more tree decorators and sponsors and have more community members participate in the event.
Brandon Weimer, owner of Herringbone Books, hosted a tree in his Redmond business last year and feels it was a huge success.
“People not only stopped in on the sidewalks to see the beautiful tree but also brought foot traffic into the business,” said Weimer. “I am selfishly happy it’s happening again for the additional foot traffic and a beautiful display in my window as it saves me from having to decorate for the season. The impact financially was also positive and there’s no downside.”
For more information about Tour of Trees 2021, contact Hospice of Redmond at (541) 548-7483 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to support Hospice of Redmond through giving, please visit their website hospiceofredmond.org and click the donate button. Any amount is appreciated and all donations help families in Central Oregon.
Hospice of Redmond is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, independent, and Medicare-certified organization founded in 1981 that has touched the lives of hundreds of individuals throughout Central Oregon by providing compassionate and quality end-of-life care, bereavement, transitions programs, and community support.