Creativity ran ramped in hallways at Newlands Monday night as dozens of tree trimmers turned out to once again help the Langley Memorial Hospital.
For the past 29 years running, Newlands Golf & Country Club has hosted the annual Festival of Trees – inviting local businesses and organizations to kick off the holiday season by decorating a tree in the banquet facility.
For the admission fee of $250, the group decorates a tree that remains up throughout the holidays, and Newlands’ guests are invited to vote for their favourite prior to Dec. 22.
The tree trimming night occurred Monday, with representatives of all ages – from 20 participating organizations – coming out to decorate together, then enjoy refreshments and live music in the banquet hall.
Two-year-old Audrey Rinas, and her older brother Alex, four, were among the youngest tree decorators, helping out Mom trim the Chaberton Estate Winery tree.
They came out, Mom said, especially because they wanted to help the cause. They’d recently suffered a loss in their family and were “incredibly grateful” to Langley Memorial for all they did to help her family through a difficult time.
Through the years, this event has raised $117,000 for the hospital foundation, and Newlands sales and event coordinator Kathleen Urae hopes to add a “significant” donation – hopefully at least $6,000 – to that tally this year.
Foundation executive director Vivian Smith was on hand for the kickoff.
“We’re so honoured to be here again. This event kicks off our Christmas season,” she said. “It’s a time of year when family, friends, neighbours, and the citizens of Langley come together at Newlands to help support their hospital and health services in the community, and we just want to say thanks.”