With the goal to help sick children at Primary Children’s Hospital, the Festival of Trees starts its 50th annual event today, with all of the proceeds going to help patients and their families.
Because of a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 version of virtually anything is different but the festival still has glorious trees and a silent auction, but not the in-person stroll through a forest of lovingly-made Christmas décor.
Instead, those wishing to get bid on a tree can see them online by way of an interactive map of the trees, arranged at Vivint Smart Home area, available in a series of 360 degree views at makegoodgrow.org. The map lets web patrons jump in and look around at the area, but the silent auction that also includes door wreaths, table decorations and quilts, can be browsed and bit on at e.givesmart.com/events/gC8/.
KUTV reported last month the story of one of those trees, made for the 29th consecutive year by a mother who lost her daughter to a childhood illness.
“It just is such a feeling of joy. It’s my Christmas. This is Christmas for me to do these trees,” Linda Meier said.
Trees this year include many themes from sports to mermaids to elegant trees to whimsical ones, including stuffed animals and even a tree for the Disney+ series “Mandalorian,” complete with a Baby Yoda, now known as Gorgu.
Unlike other years, there will be no event to charge admission. Revenue could be harder to come by this year, though the need has not decreased.
It started in 1971 by a group of 15 women tasked with a way to raise funds for Primary Children’s Hospital. Now managed by the Intermountain Foundation, it has raised approximately $40 million over the years. A crew of 2,000 volunteers has bloomed into a group of 30,000 that helps patients and families from Utah but also Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska and beyond.
Since its inception, the Festival of Trees has raised nearly $40 million to support Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital and provide the highest quality care to children. The festival is produced by Intermountain Foundation. For more information about the Festival of Trees, visit makegoodgrow.org.