The annual festival of trees encouraged individuals to take the time to appreciate what’s special during the busy Christmas season, said Amanda Balyski, organizer.
The trees, brightly lit and hand decorated in different themes, lined the walls of the Trinity United Church in Preeceville from December 4 to 6. The trees were surrounded by Christmas music, hot apple cider and great fellowship in a tranquil setting all geared towards enjoying the Christmas season.
“We had 200 individuals that took in the festival of trees. It was well attended and really got people into the spirit of giving,” said Balyski. “It was a relaxing time to take the time to remember what Christmas is about. We had piano students that graced us with playing some music throughout the festival.
“The Christmas season is a busy time of year and the festival is a time of sharing, visiting and donating to worthy causes, all surrounded by the spirit of Christmas,” said Balyski.
Businesses, organizations and individuals that participated in the tree decorating were included. Home Hardware’s Christmas tree had a Grinch theme with donations allotted towards the Preeceville School literacy program. The Preeceville Lioness Club’s brightly decorated tree featured the club’s color of purple. The proceeds from the tree were allotted towards Filling the Gap. The Preeceville Museum decorated a tree in a nostalgic theme with proceeds going towards the museum's activities. The Preeceville Library had a tree with funds allotted towards the Filling the Gap program. Preeceville Mackenzie Society decorated a tree with proceeds towards Mackenzie.
Paige Hanson had a small white tree with red decorations. The tree was decorated in support of Camp Circle of Friends. The Trinity United Church decorated a tree with donations going to Filling the Gap. The Family Resource Centre had a tree decorated with children’s decorations from Preeceville kindergarten children and Sturgis Composite School kindergarten and Grade 1 students. The donations from the tree went towards children's Christmas gifts for the Filling the Gap program.
The Grace United Church tree had donations allotted towards the Filling the Gap program. Loranda Blender decorated tree that featured hair accessories and was topped with a mannequin’s head. The donations from her tree went towards the Preeceville Personal Care Home.
The Preeceville Nursery School had decorations from the students and donations went towards the Saskatchewan Children’s Hospital. The Preeceville School featured a unique tree with donations towards the school literacy program.
Miles and Anna Russell displayed two identical trees. Chuck Tarangeau-Barzeau displayed a white Christmas tree with elegant brown bows and silver decorations with proceeds from the tree allotted towards the Yorkton SPCA. Canada Post featured a tree decorated with Santa Claus letters addressed to Santa from all over the world.
Anaka House decorated a tree with proceeds to go to its activities. The Town of Preeceville's tree had donations going towards the Filling the Gap program. A special memorial tree in honour of Bill Simpson was decorated with some of his favorite items and donations from the tree went towards Paws and Claws.
Pattison Agriculture displayed a white tree with a combine as a tree topper. Proceeds from the tree went to Filling the Gap. The Gateway Co-op entered a tree with donations towards Filling the Gap. The Sturgis Horticultural Society featured a tree decorated in poinsettia flowers with donations towards the Filling the Gap program.