This Thursday, November 19, hundreds of enthusiastic and kind hearted individuals are going to storm the Fairmont Empress Hotel, baubles in hand, to launch this year’s BC Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees.
The festival is one of the many events held annually by the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation to raise funds and awareness for BC Children’s Hospital. Funds raised through the Festival of Trees help ensure BC’s children receive the best health care possible. In 2008 alone, more than 2,500 children from Vancouver Island were admitted into BC Children’s Hospital to receive care and treatment.
Local businesses and organizations donate to the foundation to sponsor a tree and, on November 19th, will gather their friends, families and employees to help decorate their tree in the halls of the Fairmont Empress Hotel. During the two-hour scramble, teams put together ornate, unique, and creative trees that they hope will win them the peoples choice award. Teams also have the opportunity to bribe judges with cash and toys for a chance at the coveted judges’ award.
The trees are displayed throughout The Fairmont Empress over the holiday season, starting this Thursday through to January 4, 2010
Thousands of Festival visitors will have the opportunity to cast a vote for their favorite tree with a two-dollar donation. With each vote they are entered into a draw for the People’s Choice Award Citizen Prize. With over 9,000 votes and 69 trees, last year’s Festival of Trees proved to be the biggest and best year yet as the event raised a record $105,327. Additional money is raised via sponsors’ registration fees, bribing of the judges, donations, and by purchasing ornaments for the community tree.
Now in its 18th year, the Festival has grown to feature up to 75 trees.
This is our 9th year sponsoring this event. It is an absolute must-see for anyone with children. The staff and management of the Fairmont Empress have donated their time, resources, beautiful facility and so much more for 18 years, allowing 100 per cent of the funds raised to go directly to the foundation.
This is my favorite charity event of the year. Not to diminish the importance of any of the others that I support, but Festival of Trees is guaranteed to launch our hearts into a generous holiday spirit.
By the way…
In 1986 I lost a nephew to a drowning accident in the interior. He was air lifted to BCCH and in spite of the amazing attention and care given to him, the injuries he sustained were too serious and he passed away. The tears in the eyes of the nurse across the bed and the compassion from all the staff members still lives with me.