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Annual Festival of Trees fundraiser breaks money record

Nathan Adelson Hospice‘s Festival of Trees fundraiser brought in more than $11,000 last Friday, a record, according to Community Outreach Representative Susan Holecheck.

More than $5,000 was raised during the popular auction portion of the gala evening at the Mountain Falls Grill Room.

Ticket and raffle sales generated additional revenue.

The event allows for attendees to bid on the decorated assortment of Christmas trees, wreaths and for the first time this year, stockings, stuffed with ‘comfort items.’

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

Holecheck called the event a ‘terrific success.’

“We raised a total of $11,000 between the trees, the wreaths and the Christmas stockings this year which is new; we raised over $5,300 and that stays here in our community. You could sure tell people really love the wreaths because we had one of them that sold for over $700 and the other one was over $600.”

Following the evening’s invocation performed by Chaplain Richard Martin, attendees delved into dinner, followed by the auction, performed by auctioneer Ski Censke from Nye County Public Auction.

Censke noted a moderate crowd does not necessarily mean fewer dollars raised, as upward of 100 guests were in attendance.

“It’s not the size of the crowd that counts, it’s the size of the generosity of the people who are at the function,” he said. “I’m glad we were able to break a couple of records and I thought it was a phenomenal event. The whole evening was a win-win all the way around.”

The Christmas trees, wreaths and stockings were decorated by several local businesses and agencies.

Though she was pleased with the overall event, Holecheck said the hospice is considering a slight change to the fundraiser next year.

“The seven-foot trees seem to be difficult for people to transport home,” she said. “Next year we might just stick with the 4-foot trees or 5-foot trees. As someone new to Nathan Adelson Hospice, I know sometimes it’s difficult for people to afford the cost of the ticket price so perhaps there is something we can do in the future that will ease that up a little bit.”

Censki, meanwhile said he’s always honored 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,” he said. “The service that 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 enjoyed it.”

Last year, Nathan Adelson Hospice, a nonprofit organization, provided more than $1 million in uncompensated care.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @sharrispvt

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