UPSTATE – The annual GHS Hospice of the Foothills Christmas Tree Festival raised a record high of $177,429, now totaling $1.5 million since the event began 14 years ago, Oconee Memorial Hospital Foundation announced at the recent check presentation.
The popular festival is now in its 15th year.
“We are thrilled that so many people in our community love the Christmas Tree Festival and look forward to supporting it every year,” said 2017 Festival Co-chair Edna Rider. “People are very loyal to GHS Hospice of the Foothills and enjoy supporting our program.”
This year’s festival earned more in ticket sales than in previous years and the Pass the Purse event and the Gala Auction brought in more funds than any year in the past, said a spokesperson.
“Every event in the week-long event was successful – more cookies were bought than the year before, the Holiday Market earned approximately $2,500 more than in 2016 and the Santa’s Surprises earnings were up more than $1,900. Hundreds of volunteers worked before and during the festival to make it a success,” they said.
Cortni Nations, manager of the Oconee Memorial Hospital Foundation, said, “Every year we are amazed at how much gets accomplished in one short week, and we are grateful that so many have a passion for Hospice of the Foothills, our hometown hospice provider. Our thanks go to those who donate their time, talent and resources to help us make this event so special.”
The 2017 festival garnered $7,000 more than the 2016 festival, they stated.
Since the Christmas Tree Festival began in 2004, it has raised more than $1,511,871 for GHS Hospice of the Foothills. This year’s proceeds will be used to support the Crippen Endowment for GHS Hospice of the Foothills. Thanks to the success of the 2016 Festival, the Crippen Endowment will top $1.2 million, she said.
“Having an endowment is so important to the future of Hospice of the Foothills,” stated Nations. “A portion of the earnings can be spent each year to enhance the services of Hospice of the Foothills in Oconee, Anderson and Pickens counties. Funds can be utilized for charity care, new programs, patient equipment and other needs that may arise. As the endowment funds are invested for growth and folks continue to give, the amount of money available each year will also grow, providing sustainability for this important service to our community.”
“The festival continues to grow and expand every year. We are humbled by the many volunteers, sponsors and participants who support this event. This support means that we can continue providing quality end-of-life care to those who need us across our three counties,” said Dr. Daniel Smith, medical director for GHS Hospice of the Foothills.
Work is already underway for the 2018 festival which will be held Nov. 26–30. For more information on how you can get involved as a volunteer, please call Oconee Memorial Hospital Foundation at 864-885-7912.