Nathan Adelson Hospice hosts annual Festival of Trees

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<p>Selwyn Harris / Pahrump Valley Times - Nathan Adelson Hospice’s Dee Handley shows off one of several wreaths decorated by local businesses and individuals.</p>
<p>Selwyn Harris / Pahrump Valley Times - Auctioneer Ski Censki and assistant Ron Gipson provided laughs while raising money for Nathan Adelson Hospice’s Festival of Trees gala at Mountain Falls last Saturday.</p>
<p>Selwyn Harris / Pahrump Valley Times - Local Resident Hollis Harris bids on an item at the 9th annual Festival of Trees.</p>
<p>Selwyn Harris / Pahrump Valley Times - Auctioneer Ski censki was not shy about getting the most out of those who made bids for more than 20 trees and wreaths at the event.</p>

The Mountain Falls Grill Room was home to the largest holiday fundraiser of the year for a local agency.

Nathan Adelson Hospice’s (NAH) “Festival of Trees” drew more than 100 celebrants to the gala affair.

Proceeds from the event support hospice services provided in Pahrump, Amargosa Valley and Crystal.

Tyann James, the agency’s business development representative, said local individuals and businesses purchased the trees, decorated them and then auctioned them off during the event.

Following the event, James said this year’s event was a success.

“The bidding was very spirited and we got quite a bit on some of the items that were auctioned off. I don’t know what the tally is just yet,” she said.

Combined, more than 20 trees and wreaths were claimed by the highest bidders.

James noted a slight difference this year compared to years past.

“It seemed more intimate than before. There were still a lot of people and I knew most of them. I really had a great time,” she said.

James had much to say about how the auction carried on throughout the evening.

She said auctioneer Ski Censki had the audience in stitches as he breezed through the holiday symbols.

“He loves Nathan Adelson and he really jumps in there and gets every dollar he can,” she said.

Censki himself said it’s always an honor to be part of a community event that provides such a valuable service.

“To me, bar none, it’s the most important fundraising event of the year. The service at Nathan Adelson provides is just phenomenal. A lot of people don’t think they will ever need something like that but when the time comes, they are there for you. As usual the event was very festive and I really enjoy it. The trees were beautiful and folks always go way out of their way to decorate the trees. The crowd was friendly, the food was good and at the end of the day, you are in good company, a good atmosphere and you can raise money for an organization as valuable as Nathan Adelson Hospice,” he said.

Nathan Adelson Hospice’s Cassandra Cotton attended the event.

The Las Vegas resident said she was overwhelmed by the sheer turnout and community support from the residents of Pahrump.

“It’s our ninth annual Festival of Trees but this is my first one and I am so excited to be here. I just want to thank everyone for their efforts as we continue to provide good quality care to our patients. This is an amazing event and all of the decorated trees and wreaths are just beautiful,” she said.

Several area elected officials were present for the event.

“I try to make this event each year,” said District 36 Assemblyman James Oscarson. “It’s a great way to support an important agency that provides compassion, care and support for hospice residents as well as their families,” he said.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by Lynn Petersen and the Phatt Katz.

Past Festival of Trees events have raised upwards of $25,000 for the agency.

On Monday, the agency also hosted their annual “Light Up a Life” event at Desert Greens.

Nathan Adelson Hospice is the largest non-profit hospice in southern Nevada, caring for more than 400 patients each day.


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