Record breaking year for Festival of Trees

The 2012 Festival of Trees has proved to be the highest to date for funds raised in the event’s 19-year history.

This year’s event raised more than $1,225,000. The event also saw 23,100 guests walk through the doors. There were 2,675 volunteers, more than 1,500 volunteer entertainers and 540 donors who took part as well.

Last year, $1,020,000 was raised.

Last month, Alaine Martin, project officer for the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation, said she attributes the success of the event to changes that were made.

“The changes we made seemed to be very well received. The new configuration of Candy Cane lane was much better,” she said.

Another big change officials made to this year’s event was holding The Festival Lights the Night (formerly referred to The Biggest Tree Festival) on a Saturday instead of on a weeknight like it was done in the past.

“Moving that event to the Saturday night was the best decision we made. More people were able to attend the event with it not happening on a workday. And with us offering the prize money for the Santa Claus Parade this year, we saw an increase in entries as well.”

For nearly two decades, the Festival of Trees has provided festive activities to the community in support of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. Since its beginnings, the Festival of Trees has raised more than $8.2 million to enhance health care at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

Proceeds raised from the 2012 Festival of Trees will go towards upgrading equipment and technology for Laboratory Services, Department of Histopathology.

This new technology and equipment will help increase the capacity to maintain acceptable timelines for laboratory testing for the growing needs at the Red Deer Regional Hospital.