A Red Deer home with 152 decorated Christmas trees is all decked out to raise money for the Central Alberta Humane Society.
Tom Kereluk and Vince Jackman squeezed in 19 more trees this year for their Sofia’s Tour, named in honour of their Chihuahua, who has since died.
“Every room is decorated. It’s a lot of work, but I love it and it raises money for the Humane Society, which is in dire need like all charities right now,” said Jackman, who is also president of the local Humane Society.
“This year has been a very tough year for us at the shelter, especially because we’re not government-funded.”
This season the society announced its new Giving Tree Campaign that focuses on fundraising for essential equipment for the animal shelter that will enhance the well-being and comfort of the animals in care.
He said donors have already stepped up to cover the cost of some of the items on the society’s wishlist, which will help equip the society’s vet clinic so animals don’t have to be transported elsewhere for care.
Money raised for each piece of equipment is tracked on the Central Alberta Humane Society’s at cahumane.com/giving-tree-2023 so people see the fundraising progress during the campaign.
The couple opened their home at 42 Comfort Close for tours earlier this month. They will welcome people again on Dec. 17, from 12 to 4 p.m., and another tour day will also announced. Check cahumane.com for updates.
Tours may also be available into January by emailing email@example.com.
Jackman said some visitors will spend an hour or two checking out all the trees and he likes the joy the tour brings to people.
“When they walk in and see it, they all just go, ‘Wow, I can’t believe it,’ especially when they go downstairs. It’s like a winter wonderland down there.”
A Barbie tree and a Ukrainian tree are among the new highlights of the tour. Children can also visit with Santa.
“Come explore, have fun, and take as many pictures as you want.”
The couple’s three Chihuahuas, including two rescues, may even be among the trees to welcome visitors.
Jackman said one of their dogs will just sit in her little bed and watch everyone walk by. The other two are a little more active.
Visitor can bring their donations to the tour, or donate online at cahumane.com.