Hayden Christmas Tree Festival benefits local groups | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden Christmas Tree Festival benefits local groups

Auction raises $4,400 for 25 nonprofits

Jack Weinstein

Halle Hamilton, 6, introduces the wreath that Goodtimes 4-H made for the auction at Sunday’s Hayden Christmas Tree Festival. The wreath fetched $150, which will help the club pay for its sponsorship of an award at the Routt County Fair and the Christmas party it will host at The Haven Assisted Living Center.





Halle Hamilton, 6, introduces the wreath that Goodtimes 4-H made for the auction at Sunday's Hayden Christmas Tree Festival. The wreath fetched $150, which will help the club pay for its sponsorship of an award at the Routt County Fair and the Christmas party it will host at The Haven Assisted Living Center.
Jack Weinstein

— The $175 raised by Class Act Productions during Sunday's Hayden Christmas Tree Festival will go a long way toward the group's production of "Peter Pan and Wendy."

Kathy Deepe, a teacher at Hayden Valley Elementary Sch­­­ool, leads the group of third- through 12th-graders that performs once a year. She said the seven-year-old Class Act Productions needs all the funding help it can get.

"The school does not fund this," she said. "All funds for the play are through the (Christmas Tree Festival) and grants I write."

She said the Christmas Tree Festival funding would help pay for costumes and materials for sets. Twenty-four students will perform the play in February.

More than 100 people attended the Sunday afternoon event, hosted by the group Friends of the Christmas Tree Festival, at the Routt County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall. They bid on Christmas trees, wreaths and centerpieces entered for auction by 25 local nonprofit groups.

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It's the fourth year that the Friends of the Christmas Tree Festival has organized and hosted the event. They took over for the Hayden Heritage Center Board of Di­­rectors, which ran the fundraiser for the previous 20 years.

Lori Laird, a member of Friends of the Hayden Christmas Tree Festival, said this year's event brought in $4,400, about $500 less than last year. All proceeds go directly to each group.

Despite earning less money for local nonprofit groups, Laird said she was pleased with this year's event.

"I think everything went well," she said. "We were well represented by a number of different groups. We had new buyers and returning buyers."

Laird said she hoped to start doling out checks to the local groups in the next couple of weeks.

Traci Day, bank manager for the Hayden branch of First National Bank of the Rockies, bought the Class Act Productions tree and one of the Hayden Valley Elementary School's Winter Gift Festival entries.

"This is one of the only things in Hayden where you can buy things to support different organizations. It's an array of organizations," she said. "The community really does come out to support this."

This year's groups included: Love INC, four Hayden Girl Scout troops, four Hayden 4-H groups, two Hayden students attending a national youth leadership conference, Hayden Valley Elementary School Winter Gift Festival, Hayden Heritage Center, Routt County CattleWomen, Hayden Archery Club, Class Act Productions, Winter Garden Conservatory Scholarship Fund, Tender Tots Daycare, Soroco FFA, Hayden High School After Prom, The Haven Assisted Living Center, Kimberly Fournier Memorial Fund, Solandt Memorial Hos­­­pital, HELPRZ and Friends of the Christmas Tree Festival.

In addition to the trees, wreaths and centerpieces, many people also left with raffle items donated by local businesses.

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