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Foundation decides to nix traditional event after 22 years

Festival of Trees: no more

— The first week in December will look a lot different in Grangeville this year.

“The [Syringa] Foundation met and agreed the live auction for Festival of Trees is no longer receiving strong community support,” reported Syringa trustee Twila Hornbeck at the Aug. 22 board meeting.

Hornbeck added the Foundation Executive Committee – JoAnne Smith, Dave Wimer and Mike Cook – are in the process of recommending alternative dates and venues for a hospital fund-raiser festival.

“Right now the only part being planned for is a Christmas luncheon at the senior center as it’s viewed as a good community outreach,” Hornbeck explained.

In addition to not having the main Festival of Trees auction, the foundation report stated “the crafts day for kids and accompanying music will be discontinued as there are several other organizations that sponsor similar activities for children in the community.”

Festival of Trees ran for the past 22 years and included a live and silent auction, dinner, family events and dinner among the trees.

Hornbeck said the foundation board will continue to discuss replacing the event with another fund-raiser, perhaps in February or in the spring.


In other foundation news:

• The Syringa Auxiliary Thrift Shop had a disappointing month financially. Volunteers contributed 576 hours. [Manager] Kristi Brooks and volunteers planned for store improvements to be made Aug. 26-29 to coincide with work done by Quality Heating and Ironworks. Sales at $8,422 were down 33 percent from July of last year due mostly to fewer buyers finding access and parking because of the U.S. Highway 95 paving.

• The 5k Firecracker Fun Run event held July 2 experienced some confusion over what was the day of the race with 109 registrants versus 184 in 2014. Sponsorships were up 19 percent and expenses were also up due to purchasing safety fencing and the numbering tags for racers. The net income of $1,803 was 34 percent less than the previous year’s $2,736.

• Treasure Life Book Club made a donation of $1,085 to the Cancer Resource Center. Ian Cole (Pittsburgh Penguins; defenseman) and his wife, Jordan (Dr. Rockwell’s granddaughter) gave $2,115 to match Ian’s sale of Penguin memorabilia and other donations creating $4,230 in memory of Dr. John Rockwell.


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