Special to the Langley Advance
Newlands Golf and Country Club is hosting the 25th annual Festival of Trees – or decorating frenzy – on Nov. 19 and it’s not too late for Langley businesses to participate.
The Festival of Trees allows local companies to network while getting into the holiday spirit, with proceeds going directly to the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation, said event organizer Tiffany Knopp.
Businesses are asked to donate $200 and in doing so they purchase a Christmas tree that they deck out during the decorating reception on Thursday, Nov.19.
“Every last penny of that $200 goes back to the foundation,” said Knopp, owner of The Brides Assistant.
Knopp has been coordinating this event for six years and has the goal of signing up 25 businesses this year.
“It’s great to see all the different companies helping each other and interacting with each other,” Knopp said of interaction at the reception.
“It’s very much a community building event,” she added.
Once decorating is complete, participants judge each other trees – picking the best in four different categories: best creative use of material, best team spirit, most enchanting tree and best corporate tree.
The trees remain on display at Newlands throughout the Christmas season, with literally thousands expected to view them while visiting the centre.
The public is also invited to stop in and browse and even vote-by-donation. The business with the most popular tree earns the title of “master trimmer of the year.”
The Festival of Trees is a third-party fundraising event, which means that money is generated without the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation having to expend any resources.
Third-party fundraisers count as additional donations to the initiatives presented by the foundation, and the money is used to purchase new equipment for the hospital, explained Errin Young, communications officer at the foundation.
“It reaches people who we haven’t had a chance to reach ourselves. It extends our reach within a community which to us is incredibly important,” Young said.
For Knopp, the Festival of Trees and other third-party fundraising for the hospital,have affected her personally.
“This is the one [event] that I put my heart and soul into every year,” she said.
In early 2014, Knopp developed complications during her third pregnancy and her son was born one month premature at the Langley Memorial Hospital.
The maternity ward and nursery unit had recently undergone improvements and upgrades through money raised through the foundation.
“He actually ended up in the brand new nursery that all the money had just gone to create so that he wasn’t having to be sent off to Surrey or to Children’s Hospital,” Knopp said.
“I myself am witnessing the need and seeing how wonderful it is for all of the years that people have been giving [and] the impact that it has on the Langley community,” she told the Langley Advance.
Businesses are still able to register until Nov. 17. For more information, contact Tiffany Knopp at 604-996-3387.
More photos from 48th Avenue Studio below