Visalia’s Christmas tree auction grants wishes to 30 charities

Visalia Chamber of Commerce’s annual event raises nearly $60,000 for local charities, non-profits

@TheSunGazette 

VISALIA – The Christmas wishes of 30 local charities and non-profit organizations were granted, with nearly $60,000 raised at the 37th annual Christmas Tree Auction held Dec. 8 at the Visalia Convention Center. The spirit of giving was evident at the Masquerade themed event with more than 1,200 guests who spent the evening supporting local charities, eating great food, drinking local wine, and dancing the night away.

After 37 years of raising funds for local charities, the Christmas Tree Auction has become a legacy in Visalia as non-profits use this black-tie gala to advance their mission through the donations they receive and awareness they generate.  For many non-profits, this event is the primary fundraiser they rely on to keep their operations running throughout the year. Since its inception the Visalia Chamber Christmas Tree Auction has raised close to 4.5 million dollars to support the local community.

“On behalf of all the non-profits involved, the Chamber wishes to thank the community and those donors who dug deep and found ways to impact the lives of many individuals in powerful, positive ways.  Visalia’s legacy of generosity continues to confirm our faith in the community’s ability to come together and overcome,” stated Gail Zurek, president and CEO of the Visalia Chamber of Commerce.

The following organizations raised the most money in each of the following three categories at the 2017 event:

  • Hands in the Community raised the most funds with their live auction tree at the auction with a bid of $6,500.00
  • Visalia Police Explorers Post #32 and ImagineU Children’s Museum raised the most funds with their silent auction trees each with bids of $800.00 at the auction.
  • Ruth Wood Open Arms House raised the most funds with a bid of $800.00 at the silent auction.

More than 400 people attended the VIP dinner and an additional 800 joining the general admission party. The mission of the Visalia Chamber of Commerce is to serve as the “voice of business,” providing strategic leadership and engagement in building the future of business and the community through information, services, and advocacy to the employers of our community.

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