Organizers gear up for this year’s Festival of Trees

Officials are looking forward to celebrating the event's 20th anniversary

The countdown to the 20th anniversary of the Festival of Trees has begun.

Organizers with the annual Festival announced this year’s line-up of events at a recent press conference at the 2013 Trade-itional Holiday Home located at 3 Veronica Close.

Proceeds from the sale of the home, which was built by Avalon Central Alberta, will go towards the Festival of Trees.

The Festival of Trees will take place Nov. 20-24 at Westerner Park. Kicking off the event will be the Festival Lights the Night and Santa Claus Parade on Nov. 16 from 4 – 6:30 p.m. in downtown Red Deer.

The Preview Dinner and Auction will take place Nov. 20 with the Seniors Appreciation and the Volunteer Sneak-a-Peak happening on Nov. 21.

The Festival Business Luncheon, Taste of Red Deer and Festival of Wines is set for Nov. 22 and the Tis’ the Season Fashion Luncheon and Mistletoe Magic will take place Nov. 23.

The Festival events will wrap up with Breakfast with Santa on Nov. 24.

In the last 19 years the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation has hosted the Festival of Trees. To date, more than $9.5 million has been raised by the Festival.

During last year’s event, more than 2,600 volunteers and more than 23,000 attendees supported the Festival of Trees.

There were also 75 trees that were sponsored by individuals and companies, fully decorated and put on display at Westerner Park during the event last year.

This year, all proceeds from the event will be directed to enhance patient care and services in diagnostic imaging, urology and the operating room at the Red Deer Regional Hospital.

These three departments work together in a collaborative effort for various treatments including prostate care and treatment, numerous urinary procedures requiring a surgical environment, including the detection of cancer, and also for identifying need for further treatment for both male and female patients.

These procedures and services are only provided at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre for more than 450,000 people living in the Central Zone. In 2012, 72% of all urology cases performed in Red Deer were performed in the OR on the current, outdated unit. That is 979 of 1,355 urology procedures, plus 250 diagnostic imaging procedures.

Diagnostic imaging and urology will work in collaboration to purchase and install a new imaging unit in the operating room in the Hospital. The equipment will assist the urologist with visualization of the urinary tracts of males and females and the reproductive system of males. Improved imaging will assist in determining causes of urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence or structural problems, as well as revealing blockages such as stones, congenital abnormalities or cancers.

When not in use for imaging, the equipment will be used to prostate surgeries, stent insertions and/or any procedure that requires access to the bladder in a surgical environment.

Tickets for the Festival of Trees went on sale on Monday and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

General admission for the Festival of Trees is $6 for adults, $3 for seniors and students aged 12-17, $2 for children aged four to 11 and children under three years of age are free.

For more information visit www.reddeerfestivaloftrees.ca.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

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