Millions go to children’s benefit

The "Festival of Trees" is what Christmas is all about. The festival was inspired 37 years ago by 15 women whose purpose was to raise funds for the Primary Children’s Medical Center. Every item sold-from Christmas trees to freshly baked goods-all proceeds go to Primary Children’s Medical Center.

Primary Children’s Medical Center has been serving children for 85 years now. It is the only full-service pediatric hospital from Denver to the west coast and serves the largest geographical area in the country. Primary Children’s has been named one of the best children’s hospitals in the country and last year, they were named Level 1 Trauma Center, the highest level of trauma service that can be reached. Last year alone Primary Children’s spent 7.3 million to make sure every child regardless of age, race or religion had the medical attention they needed.

The festival has been doing its part to raise funds for the prestigious hospital for almost four decades. Thirty-seven years ago, the first festival raised 47,000 dollars. Just last year, the festival accumulated 1,567,525 dollars, all for children in need of medical assistance their families can’t afford.

The main attractions are the Christmas trees, of which 700 unique and clever trees are put on display. Other attractions include a gingerbread village, playhouse plaza, scones and sweet rolls and a gift boutique, just to name a few. Most of the donations come from Utah, but the holiday cheer has spread nation wide this year with donations coming as far as Texas, Virginia and North Carolina.

The Festival of Trees defines the true spirit of Christmas-giving. "The magic of the festival is the community coming together to help children," said Edyth Hansen the festival’s chairwoman, which is run by a volunteer board of 85 women who devote countless hours of preparation for the extravaganza. The women work extremely hard gathering donations and talents from organizations, businesses, and families in order to help the children in need of more then presents during the holiday season.

The Festival of Trees runs from Nov. 28 through Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy. The festival has totaled over 21 million for children in need, and keeps growing.

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