Mike and Migue’l Dangeli introduced their five-week-old baby Hayetsk to Santa, played by publisher Bert Husband of the Terrace Standard. (Contributed Photo)

Mike and Migue’l Dangeli introduced their five-week-old baby Hayetsk to Santa, played by publisher Bert Husband of the Terrace Standard. (Contributed Photo)

Festival of Mini-Trees raises almost $7,000 for Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation

Twenty Christmas trees decked out with merchandise, gift cards were given out in raffle draw

Terrace’s first-ever Festival of Mini-Trees raised $6,600 to be put towards the Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation’s goal to purchase a new ophthalmic surgical microscope.

From Nov. 29 to 30 at the Evangelical Free Church, dozens of people came to take photos with Santa, drink hot mulled cider and admire 20 uniquely decorated trees that were then claimed by raffle winners at the end of the event.

“It was a nice kickoff to the Christmas season beautiful music… we were creating memories for lots of families who came through,” says Heather Bellamy, administrative assistant for the Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation. “People even stayed around to sit and enjoy the music.”

READ MORE: Cram the Cargo event helping to fill Terrace food bank shelves

Bellamy says the Festival of Mini-Trees is an annual Christmas fundraiser run by many other hospital foundations across Canada, and although they had thought about it before, it wasn’t until the local Canadian Tire donated 20 real trees, valued a total of $2,000, to finally kickstart the event in Terrace.

“That was huge because if the owner said no, I probably wouldn’t have done it this year,” she explains. “He was amazing and was willing to fund us by giving us these trees, it’s a huge thing for the community.”

Other local businesses then jumped onto the bandwagon and donated items like gift cards and merchandise to decorate the trees with. Each tree was valued between $200 to $400 to encourage event-goers to purchase raffle tickets in hopes of bringing their favourite one home.

“People who won the trees were thrilled because there was a lot on the trees there,” she says. “It was very well-received, 20 families went home with ready-made Christmas trees and lots of fun was had.”

READ MORE: Terrace RCMP’s 9th annual ‘Cram a Cruiser’ event takes place this Saturday

She says the festival was a big hit and lots of people were impressed with how well-decorated the trees were. A top pick for many kids was the “Minion tree” which was covered in recognizable movie characters with one big Minion on top in place of a star.

Other memorable ones included the “pet lover tree” decked with lots of toys and treats, the “Prevost tree” that had a gas firepit, cook stove and emergency blankets, and two other trees which included two sets of round-trip flight tickets donated by Central Mountain Air.

Alongside the row of Christmas trees were many volunteers instrumental in making the magic happened. Musicians Debbie Toovey, Rene Therrien with his Spring Fever band, The Adventists Carolers and the Skeena Middle School Santa Band gave their time to play seasonal tunes. Members of the Mills Memorial Hospital department helped set the winter wonderland and build the barn stage.

READ MORE: Dude Looks Like A Lady pageant hits fundraiser record of $40,000

Santa was played by six different volunteers, including the Terrace Standard’s own publisher Bert Husband. Bellamy says their Old Nick costume was a vintage handmade Nordic Santa suit she purchased online from Moscow, Russia.

“I was looking for something a little more classic, like the Father Christmas look since everyone’s sick of the fat fuzzy Santa,” says Bellamy with a laugh. “We wanted it to be a classy thing that people would be happy to jump into.”

Given its success and positive feedback, Bellamy says they are planning to continue the Festival of Mini-Trees in Terrace for years to come.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


14 R.E.M. Lee Foundation members helped with volunteering. (Contributed Photo)

14 R.E.M. Lee Foundation members helped with volunteering. (Contributed Photo)

Bob and Debbie Minhinnick make memories with their grandchildren Charlotte and Lucy Stella at the first inaugural Festival of Mini-Trees. (Contributed Photo)

Bob and Debbie Minhinnick make memories with their grandchildren Charlotte and Lucy Stella at the first inaugural Festival of Mini-Trees. (Contributed Photo)

Just Posted

The average selling price of a single-family home in Terrace has climbed 26 per cent in the last year. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)
House prices soar in Terrace

Average prices increased by 26 per cent

Nurse Vicki Niemi administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Joyce, 88, on Mar. 23, 2020 at the Terrace Sportsplex. All adults in Terrace are now eligible to register for a COVID-19 vaccination. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
All adults in Terrace can now register for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

Community members can register by calling 833-838-2323 or visiting getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca

April 2020 to March 2021 was the second wettest year on record since at least 1969, according to Environment Canada. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
VIDEO: Terrace records wettest spell in over a half-century

Terrace saw close to 1,500 millimetres of precipitation between April 2020 and March 2021

Terrace fire department responded to a call from Skeena Saw Mills at the early hours of Friday morning. (Binny Paul/ Terrace Standard)
UPDATE: Fire crews respond to early morning incident at Skeena Sawmills

No injuries were reported as mill workers immediately alerted the fire department after seeing smoke

Terrace Tim Hortons on Keith Ave. experienced a fire during the morning of April 4, 2021. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
Nature of Tim Hortons fire made it difficult to detect: Deputy fire chief

Fire likely burned undetected inside a wall, resulting in extensive damage

People take part in an anti-curfew protest in Montreal on Sunday April 11, 2021. Hundreds of people gathered in Old Montreal tonight in defiance of a new 8 p.m. curfew. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Giuseppe Valiante
VIDEO: Hundreds defy Montreal’s 8 p.m. curfew in violent, destructive protest

Quebec reported 1,535 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, as well as five additional deaths linked to the virus

A volunteer disinfects a historical Mohabat Khan mosque ahead of the upcoming Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
For Canadian Muslims, second pandemic Ramadan is a time of hope and sadness

Many members of the association are trying to find ways ‘to help people stay connected to one another’

South Surrey farmland, March 2020. The province’s crackdown on secondary residences sparked protests that have the NDP government engaged in a lengthy rewrite of its legislation. (Tracy Holmes/Peace Arch News)
B.C. NDP now wants to keep even ‘non-farmers’ on the land

‘Grandfathering’ of second residences extended again

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. The Vancouver Canucks say 25 players and coaches have tested positive during a COVID-19 outbreak that involves a variant of the virus. It is now the biggest reported outbreak in the NHL this season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks’ return to practice pushed back as player added to COVID protocol list

COVID outbreak has led to eight games being cancelled

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Most Read