I am writing this letter in response to the article in the Advocate on Thursday, May 21, about the cancellation of the Festival of Trees event, Festival Lights the Night, held downtown at City Hall Park.
It has been brought to our attention that the article may have given the impression that our sponsors had discontinued their support.
The generous sponsors, who have given funds year after year to support the operation of this event, should be honoured for their support. Their commitment was unfailing.
This free community event was held the end of November for the past 12 years and as one of the founding volunteers, I would like to draw attention to the over 100 hardworking volunteers who kept this event going every year under some very difficult weather conditions.
The mission of the Festival of Trees is to raise funds to enhance patient care at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. The funds needed to host the Festival Lights the Night, for the community, were steadily increasing and although it was a fun kickoff to the Festival of Trees, it was not the best use of donated dollars.
Almost all of the sponsors that supported the Festival Lights the Night downtown have continued their generous giving with new opportunities at the Festival of Trees to be held at Westerner Park, Nov. 25 to 29.
The more than 2,000 volunteers of the Festival of Trees, along with over 500 sponsors and donors that support this event annually, can be very proud of their commitment to the central Alberta community. In the past 21 years, over $11.8 million has been raised. These funds have enhanced patient care with equipment and services at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.
With the wonderful support of our community and of Central Alberta, the Festival of Trees will continue to bring the “Magic of Christmas” to life for many years to come.