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Festival of Trees bringing winter wonderland to Lakeland College

The Festival of Trees is ready to kick off the holiday celebrations.

Seven trees will be up for grabs at Lakeland College on November 28. This year the theme is Once Upon A Tree which Donna Ariy, Co-chair of the Festival of Trees committee, says is centred around whimsical ideas.

“To me, it’s the one event that gets me going for Christmas. Once we’re done selling the trees then I’m ready to decorate my house and get my tree up. The festive season is here and the holidays are coming, let’s get with it.” 

Proceeds from the event will go towards the Richard Larsen Barr Colony Foundation which restores and rehabilitates historic and heritage projects. The most recent project was the restoration of a 1947 pump truck which will be at the event.

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“Anyone that’s seen has been very impressed with it,“ Ariy says. “It’s a way of keeping our history alive when we can use the money to restore or refurbish the things we have, like the pumper truck, it really brings to life what a piece of firefighting equipment was like in 1947.”

She says many of the refurbished items will eventually be used to teach school children about history and give them more of a sense of what life was like during that time period.

Ariy says the event has seen less financial support over the past few years because of a declining economy. Last year the event raised $12,000 and a little over $12,000 the year before.

“Over the years, we’ve had some very good years. In 2014, we made $51,000 but with the economy down, you don’t sell the trees for $2,000 which was happening before.” 

Tickets cost $65 with the night starting off at 6 p.m. Dinner and the silent auction start at 7 and 8 p.m. respectively.

People can also get a sneak peek at the trees this weekend at Lakeland College. The Foundation will be holding a free family event called Cookies ‘n’ Carols on November 23 where people can enjoy music, food and a closer look at the trees going up for auction. They will also be taking donations.

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