Festival of Trees volunteers treated with care, respect

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to the letter submitted by Karrie Kreutz of Calgary in your paper.

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to the letter submitted by Karrie Kreutz of Calgary in your paper.

As executive director of the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation, I manage the Festival of Trees. All proceeds raised by festival every year go to support our local hospital, and benefit a large region.

I am always humbled by the fact that we have over 2,300 volunteers who come out and help put on Festival of Trees. This event is much more than a fundraiser to this community; it is the event that kicks off the Christmas season for all of us.

I would like to clarify some misunderstandings present in this letter.

Festival is huge. It is huge in size, in set up, in the amount of events that run through the entire week, and in the number of volunteers who care so much about it and their hospital. While most shifts of volunteering don’t last more than four hours, there are times like during set-up and tear-down and supervisory positions that require a lot of hours.

We do have both water and food onsite for our volunteers at different times and places all through festival.

Our good friends at Sobey’s South and the downtown Co-op provide baked goods and other food items, and we have a group of wonderful ladies who bake many things that are put out all through the festival (thank you Judy-Ann and company).

We have a wonderful sponsor with Artesian Water, who generously donated three water coolers that were strategically placed around the site for our volunteers for the entire festival.

If the volunteer mentioned in Ms. Kreutz’s letter was forced to buy water from the Westerner canteen, I would ask that they please call me directly so I can see where the breakdown in communication occurred to ensure this does not happen again.

We truly value our volunteers and without them there would never be a festival for the City of Red Deer.

When you work so hard to take care of your volunteers, a letter like this is very disheartening.

Jacqueline Brooks

Executive director

Red Deer Regional

Health Foundation

Red Deer