Roopy Kopec, Dr R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation fundraising director, stands by a Skeena Sawmills corporate tree which was part of the 2020 Festival of Trees online auction. (Submitted photo/Heather Bellamy)

Roopy Kopec, Dr R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation fundraising director, stands by a Skeena Sawmills corporate tree which was part of the 2020 Festival of Trees online auction. (Submitted photo/Heather Bellamy)

Third annual Festival of Trees aims to spread holiday cheer, raise funds for medical equipment

This year’s event will take place at the Heritage Park Museum on Nov. 19 and 20

The Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation’s third annual Festival of Trees will be returning to Heritage Park Museum this month, after going virtual last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

People in Terrace can visit the museum on Friday, Nov. 19 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. or Saturday, Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to take a photo with a vintage Nordic Santa and enter a raffle for decorated mini-trees.

Staff from various departments at Mills Memorial Hospital were invited to take a miniature tree and decorate it. A total of 20 such trees are will be displayed at the festival to the public who can win them in a raffle.

Admission is $2 each day and raffle tickets are priced at three for $10, or one for $5. There are also five full size corporate trees valued up to $1,000 each available to be won, plus specially curated First Nations art items that can be bid on on-site.

There will also be hot apple cider and cookies by donation.

All proceeds from the event will be going towards a $188,845 StealthStation ENT Imaging Guidance System, which would bring a surgical rhinology service (nose and sinus) to northwest B.C. for the first time.

Last year, the Festival of Trees was cancelled the day before it was set to open when Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s chief public health officer, introduced sweeping new COVID-19 restrictions.

The D. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation changed its plans at the last minute and went ahead with an online auction, raising nearly $30,000. That helped the foundation reach its goal of purchasing a $211,000 ultrasound with echo-cardiogram for Mills Memorial Hospital.