People and Christmas trees sparkled at the 19th annual Festival of Trees preview gala. This year's event took place at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, at the Vern Burton Community Center in Port Angeles. The Festival of Trees is an annual fundraising event for the Olympic Medical Center Foundation.
Fifty themed Christmas trees were displayed under a ceiling of twinkling lights, representing countless volunteer hours and sponsorship funds.
Thirty-six were sold during the gala auction. Their prices included premiums such as a day cruise for six on a 65-foot yacht, a Mexican vacation at the Coral Baja Resort, a hand-built 15-foot wooden model logging truck, a Las Vegas vacation with tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Race, a handcrafted gazebo, and dinner parties fully catered by top chefs of the peninsula.
Sequim winners Winning bids ranged from $900 to $5,000. Sequim winners included Sylvia Berquist, high bidder for the "Winter" tree sponsored by The Toggery in Port Angeles.
The Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe won the "Christmas Makes Me Crabby" tree sponsored by First Federal.
Sequim business owners Bill and Esther Littlejohn took home the "Reflections Of Purple" tree sponsored by Wilder Auto Center.
Sequim sponsors Several Sequim businesses helped make this year's event possible through tree sponsorship.
KeyBank funded the "Christmas Carousel" tree designed by Sequim resident Cindy Teitzel and bought by Gail Dosey of Sequim Health & Rehabilitation.
Gellor Insurance sponsored "Under the Tuscan Sun" designed by Sharon DelaBarre. Thomas Building Center sponsored "Santa's Sweets" designed by Sherry Phillips.
Dr. Richard Davies sponsored the "Santa's Tea Garden" tree and another tree that was won in a raffle on Sunday called the "Teddy Bear Christmas" tree. Sound Community Bank sponsored the "Hannah Rocks" tree dedicated to rock star Hannah Montana, and Sequim Family Dentistry sponsored "A Royal Christmas" featuring several bottles of Crown Royal.
Seven Cedars Casino and Doug Parrish Excavating also sponsored trees at the festival event. Edna Petersen, owner of Necessities and Temptations in Port Angeles, had the winning bid on four trees and will donate the trees to local nonprofit organizations.
Luck for Las Vegas The evening also included smaller fundraisers such as keys to a lock box that held a gold and diamond ring valued at more than $1,600 and a $500 airline ticket.
This year's lock box winner was Olympic Care & Rehabilitation Center employee Michelle Ignagni of Sequim, who said, "It's good luck! I'm wearing it every day because I'm going to Las Vegas this weekend!"
She and three co-workers will be Team OMC participants in a 26.2-mile marathon in Las Vegas, Nev.
Festival of Trees events ran through the weekend with a teddy bear tea, senior breakfast and family days where the public could view the auctioned trees before they were delivered to their winning bidders.
This year's event raised an estimated $90,000 for the Olympic Medical Center Foundation. Bruce Skinner, its executive director said, "From a financial standpoint, this was one of our best years ever.
"From an event standpoint, this was our best year ever!"
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