Page 10 - November 27, 2017
P. 10

Festive atmosphere at ECHO's Festival of Trees

by Deanna Mitchener

The Edson Cultural Heritage Organization's 12th
Annual Festival of Trees was another great success
thanks to all the sponsors who donated the
wonderful items to be auctioned off.
And without the community coming out to enjoy
the festival and taking part in the bidding wars, it
wouldn't be such a success.
The event was underway on November 16 from 9
a.m. until 9 p.m. And again all day on the 17th and
continued on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.
This allowed plenty of time for individuals and
families to come out and enjoy the festive
atmosphere and place their bids.
"It is definitely a group effort between the board
and the staff. It is so great when I think about how
many events happen within our community," said
Lara Felsing. "We are all excited as we have a few
new things this year, and a ton of generous Lara Felsing, Bobbi-Dawn Drader, Betty Stitzenberger, Ann Steffes, and Gerrie Clery with (ECHO)
donations. Everyone that is helping and Edson Cultural Heritage Organization stand in front of a beautifully decorated Christmas Tree just
volunteering their time has made this another great
year." before the 12th Annual Festival of Trees started on November 16. Hanging on the wall is many
Betty Stitzenberger with ECHO, said, "We have handmade quilts that were donated along with many other lovely items. photo Deanna Mitchener
so many new exhibitors and our walls have
beautiful quilts hanging on them. We had a great
turnout again this year."
When Betty was asked what the best part of this
event was, she said, "The best part is seeing just how
many people donate to us. It is not always the same
people donating each year. Some have been on
board since the beginning and so many others have
donated throughout the years. We are grateful for
each donation and so pleased to have the continued
"We had 238 different items up for our silent
auction this year, a little less than last year but still
amazing support from the community. Our
luncheons were well attended, as they usually are,
so that was nice," said Betty.
"We are all tired on Sunday when it's all over. A lot
of work goes into setting up the event beforehand;
then calling everyone on the Sunday to inform bid
winners so they can make arrangements to stop in
and pay for their items and take them home," said
Stitzenberger. "It is such a big fundraiser for us. The
Festival of Trees brought in $20,000. It may not
sound like a lot of money, but to us it is a lot."
"We have another fundraiser up in Fort
McMurray working the casino there. We take a bus
and have a lot of fun doing it, but it takes a lot of
effort and a time commitment as we are gone four
days," said Betty.
"We have some wonderful employees who go
above and beyond and are always so friendly. We
are truly lucky to have them working for us along
with our many volunteers," said Stitzenberger.
"They did a really nice thing for my husband Carl
and I —it was our 60th wedding anniversary on the
Thursday and they had a cake and some lovely
words for us on the Saturday night that we were so
surprised about. It was very nice. My husband said it
doesn't seem like a minute over 59 years."
Betty added, "We sure could use some younger
volunteers to join our board as many of us are aging
and it is getting harder on some of us."

Tricia Hehn, Owen (2.5) and Parker (1) were
checking out a toy marching band during the
12th Annual Festival of Trees on November 16.
Tricia said, "This is our first year coming to this
event. The kids really enjoy all the Christmas
lights —great job." photo Deanna Mitchener
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