Enjoy a ‘vintage’ Christmas at the Festival of Trees Gala

(Rigo Moran)

Get festive this holiday season by gazing upon some beautifully decorated Christmas trees at the Tulare Hospital and Community Health Foundation’s annual fundraising Gala

TULARE – Those who love christmas trees, good food and supporting local healthcare can look forward to the Tulare Hospital and Community Health Foundation’s upcoming Festival of Trees Holiday Gala. Now in its 36th year of celebration, this year’s theme, “A Vintage Christmas,” will highlight the evening’s splendor by invoking the “warm nostalgic atmosphere we all grew up surrounded by.”

“This year, we’re bringing it old school,” said Jan Smith, the director of philanthropy for Adventist Health Tulare. “Last year we did ‘A Gatsby Christmas’ and it was very elaborate, so we’re taking it back down (a notch) and using the traditional red and green colors.”

The annual fundraising event will be held on Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. at the Tulare Veterans Memorial building. Guests can expect to be indulged with soothing music and a delicious meal from Rancho Brazil, which is one of Tulare city’s newest restaurants.

“We try to support our local businesses,” Smith said. “Rancho Brazil is a fabulous restaurant, their executive chef is rolling out the red carpet on this one.”

During the event, the organization will be honoring the Associate of the Year, the Donor of the Year and the special Volunteer of the Year, as well as hosting a silent auction which will feature over 50 items such as a spa pack and a “gentleman’s watch.” The evening’s festivities will culminate in a “fabulous live auction of breathtaking decorated trees.”

There will be six trees up for bid, made by families and local businesses who hope to assist the organization with meeting their goal of $100,000. Tickets will cost $125, the proceeds of which will go towards the implementation of new MRI machines and procedures for the Tulare Regional Medical Center.

“The Foundation has been around since 1987 and was created to support the hospital regardless of what name was attached to the outside,” Smith said. “This year we were able to give $168,000 to the hospital to replace much needed equipment.”

On top of the admission price, those in attendance, which is currently projected to be around 400 people, can support the organization by placing a bid on one of the decorated trees, which typically have a starting price of $1,300. The cap of attendees is set at 1,000, since this is how many people the venue can accommodate.

“The decorators get $1,000 to go and splurge on decorations, and the foundation provides the tree,” Smith said. “They (tend to) auction off for upwards of three ($3,000) to $10,000 each.”

For those who aren’t able to spend thousands on a Christmas tree, there will be two additional trees designed by “professional decorators” that can be won by participating in an opportunity drawing, which only costs $20 to enter in.

“They’re wonderful, talented people (who will) create a tree that is decorated just as elaborately as the ones being auctioned off,” Smith said. “There are people who come to this event just to bid on the trees (the decorators) put together.”

Tickets for the event and drawing can be found by visiting www.tularehospitalfoundation.org or by heading over to the foundations office. Those who attend will have to choose between a meat or vegetarian dinner option and one of six “fabulous desserts.”

Start typing and press Enter to search