ARLINGTON — The Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation “Festival of Trees” drew an estimated 200 attendees to the hospital itself, on the evening of Friday, Nov. 1, to bid on eight trees, which were donated by seven sponsors and decorated by teams of artists, ultimately raising close to $15,000 for the foundation in the process.
“The Washington State University tree raised about $3,000 on its own, and then was donated right back to the hospital, so we’re looking at possibly raffling it off,” said Jennifer Egger, the hospital’s community relations coordinator. “The rivalry between WSU and the University of Washington generated quite the bidding war, with the Husky tree generating around $2,500. Next year, we hope the Huskies top the Cougars,” she laughed.
While Dwayne Lane’s Arlington Chevrolet sponsored the “Festival of Trees” title, the Rotary Club of Arlington sponsored the Nov. 1 gala and Walmart sponsored the open house that followed at the hospital on Saturday, Nov. 2, during which all eight trees remained on display for visitors. The trees themselves were sponsored by Walmart, Cascade Valley Orthopedic Surgery, Arlington Family Chiropractic, Arlington Family Dental and Eagle Family Dental, Edward Jones Investments, Union Bank and Laboratory Corporation of America, the later of which sponsored two trees.
While hundreds of dollars were spent on each tree’s decorations over the course of the six weeks that the teams were allotted, Egger estimated that the wineries-themed tree would have retailed at a minimum of $2,000 in value, $1,200 of which came from its attached gift certificates.
“The Arlington Arts Council’s decorations included handmade ornaments, with ornate glassworks and detailed paintings, while another came with its own miniature fake fireplace and basket of books,” Egger said. “I’m pretty sure the Husky tree included tickets to the Rose Bowl. Everyone went above and beyond the minimum dollar amount required.”
Cascade Valley Hospital even capitalized on the Nov. 2 open house as an opportunity for the Department of Health to inform the public about childhood immunizations, while the wreaths donated by Richard Bailey were gradually whittled down in number from 30 to two, even going for $100 each.
After Nov. 2, the trees went straight into storage, but Egger promised that they would be delivered to their new owners by Dec. 8. In the meantime, the money spent on the trees will help the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation support a number of expenditures that might otherwise be deemed luxuries for patients in the current austere economy.
“The foundation does a lot of good for the community, so it’s nice to be able to celebrate that,” Egger said. “The foundation funds comfort items like wireless fetal monitors, so that mothers in labor aren’t tethered by wires.”
For more information on the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation, call 360-435-2133, ext. 7805, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or log onto www.cascadevalley.org/foundation and www.facebook.com/cvhfoundation.