The generosity of the community of Weyburn did not disappoint last night during the live auction at the Festival of Trees. The live auction raised over $30,000, and the silent auction, 50-50, and raffle raised another $20,000, making the grand total raised through the Festival of Trees just over $50,000 for The Family Place.
"I just want to thank this community of Weyburn," said Executive Director of The Family Place Dawn Gutzke. "Once again, you guys were there for us and just showed us your support and reminded us that The Family Place is so important to this community and you guys did not disappoint."
The 19th annual Festival of Trees was held at New Age Motorsports. Owner Jeff Chessall said the event and The Family Place holds a special place in their hearts.
"It's exciting to have at our place this year. Next year it will be back at Barber Motors for the 20th and I'm excited for the Barber family to get it back and I'll get it back in a couple more years after that," shared Chessall.
The live auction gala Thursday evening was emceed by Glenn Rogers with Winston Bailey acting as auctioneer. There were 22 decorated Christmas trees, a Traeger grill and two gift baskets auctioned off during the evening, with many businesses and individuals donating their purchase back to the auction to be resold. New Age Electronics donated two last minute gift certificates worth $1,000 and $2,000 when a child's snowmobile donated by New Age Motorsports failed to reach the minimum bid. The gift certificates were purchased for $1,200 by Great Plains Ford and $2,300 by the Gutzke family, respectively.
The tree that brought in the most bids was donated by the Cooperative Playschool. Their tree, "The 12 Days of Christmas" featured 12 children's books and raised $2,500. Purchased by the Boren family, the tree was donated back to The Family Place.
The event kicked off with the viewing of a video about The Family Place and the lives they touch created by Dara Currie of BIG 106. STARS Show Choir from the Weyburn Comprehensive School sang at the gala, beginning with one lone singer slowly joined by the rest of the group, adding to the dramatic effect.
This year's Festival of Trees was on par with last year, which raised about $52,000. The funds raised go towards the general operations of The Family Place.
Check out the video by Dara Currie: