The 2017 edition of the Red Deer Festival of Trees – our 24th annual – has come and gone. The Festival takes an enormous amount of volunteer time to organize, and without our volunteers this event simply could not happen on the scale that it does.
The Red Deer Festival of Trees has a board of 11 dedicated volunteers. These individuals do a lot of the high level, annual planning for the Festival. Each one takes time out of his or her busy schedule to plan one of the largest annual events in Red Deer. Some of these volunteers put in close to 1,000 hours per year. That is like a part-time job.
There is also a steering committee made up of almost 30 more volunteers. These dedicated people each run a specific event or activity that you see at the Festival of Trees. Events such as Mistletoe Magic – our daddy/daughter dance, Candy Cane Lane that features activities for children, and the main entertainment stage that features choirs, singers, and bands for three days, are just some of the events organized by steering committee members. Many of these volunteers work 8 to 10 months ensuring that they get everything in place for the week of the Festival.
Committee members are direct extensions of the steering committee. These individuals carry out the work required to make sure their event or activity occurs. Committee members are involved in hundreds of supporting jobs, like decorating the trees, calling sponsors or donors, shopping for items for the week of the event, recruiting other volunteers, setting up Candy Cane Lane, and even serving lunch to the hundreds of volunteers working on site. There are literally too many jobs to name in one small column.
We also have volunteers that come and work the week of the Festival. We appreciate the work of helpers like Eastview Middle School working Candy Cane Lane on Friday, and our high school and college students who do everything from serving food to selling tickets.
Our volunteers come from many walks of life. We have retired people who sell tickets for all the wonderful raffle items. We have corporate partners such as NOVA, the Red Deer Rebels, and Servus Credit Union (to name a few), who volunteer to serve dinner at events, or help with clean up. There are again so many corporate partners that it is impossible to name them all here. Without these volunteers, our on-site events would just not be able to happen.
The Red Deer Festival of Trees is truly a community event. Volunteers from Red Deer and all over Central Alberta make this important fundraiser possible.
It is this collaboration with our amazing Central Alberta community – you, our volunteers – that has allowed the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation to put almost $14 million dollars back into the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. Without you, there would not be equipment, services and programs as readily available at our hospital.
On behalf of the board of directors and staff of the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation, I say thank you, thank you, and thank you. This is all possible because of you.
If you are interested in volunteering for the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation or one of our events, please contact us at 403-343-4773. We would be honoured to work with you.
Chief Executive Officer
Red Deer Regional Health Foundation