Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

Record amount raised

Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 07/05) - The success of the annual Festival of the Trees just keeps on growing each year. This year, more than $200,000 was raised and organizers are still counting, said Linda Bussey, executive director of the Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation.

"Last year, we raised $187,000," Bussey said.

She attributed the increase in funds to turning the event back into being a basic community event.

Friday's gala sold out of its 450 tickets and Saturday's family day drew in 800 people.

All the money raised will go towards the purchase of a new bone densitometer machine for the hospital, she said.

"We always raise our money to go to the present campaign, the piece of equipment we are targeting," she said.

A highlight of the event was the live auction, where two items were purchased and then donated back to the auction to be resold at higher prices.

An armoire decorated by artist Terry Pamplin and also the community Christmas tree both were resold, she said.

The armoire was first purchased by two businesses for $4,600 and then resold to another buyer for $5,100, she said.

The NorthwesTel tree was purchased by De Beers for $10,000 and then resold to another for $13,000.

Cathie Bolstad, manager of public and corporate affairs of NWT projects for De Beers, said the action generated new momentum.

"When we bid on that and then gave it back, there was a huge roar of cheers and the bidding just continued," Bolstad said.

"There are people and companies that are there to give and it's an opportunity to give in a way that excites people about doing the same," she added.

Jeanette Mills, assistant vice-president of sales for the NWT for NorthwesTel, said they were very pleased the event was so successful.

"We are very proud to work with all the businesses that support this cause. It's overwhelming to see the commitment," Mills said.

At the auction alone, $49,000 was raised.

Bussey said more than 75 volunteers worked tirelessly to organize the event.