Marisca’s daughter checks out a tree during the Festival of Trees of event. (Marisca Bakker photo)

Marisca’s daughter checks out a tree during the Festival of Trees of event. (Marisca Bakker photo)

Accidental auction win will bring great joy

Marisca is impressed by the Festival of Tress contributions to charity

This past weekend I checked out the Festival of Trees and also accidentally won something in the auction.

I took my middle daughter to see all the pretty trees that graced the showroom of Glacier Toyota and all the fun items up for bid. It looked incredible in there. I can’t believe the time, energy and money businesses and individuals give to the event.

It is so beautiful to see the community come together to raise money for two great causes. More than $30,000 was brought in during the week-long festival. In the last eight years, more than $200,000 has been raised.

The Northwest Child Development Centre is slated to get half of the money raised.

The CDC offers family-centred health and social services to support the growth and development of children, youth and families in the communities from Vanderhoof to Atlin. They work collaboratively with various community partners and professionals to provide resources for all families.

The CDC is an amazing resource for our area. I’ve been there and met the incredible staff. They are unbelievably kind, so supportive and are an incredible source of knowledge.

Pre-pandemic, I used to take my oldest daughter to the playgroups they would run. And the toy library there is so much fun. They often will also run fun events.

CDC director Kerri Basset said the proceeds from this event are directed towards their pediatric specialized equipment inventory, resources and their bike camps for children and youth who require extra support to learn to ride a bike. “Making a difference throughout all the communities we work in,” she added. “Our government contract funding doesn’t provide us with enough funding to truly support all the resources required for our programs and services. These funds are so valuable to our work.”

The other half of the money raised will go to the Bulkley Valley Salvation Army, another worthy cause. Our local Salvation Army runs a well-used and much-needed food bank and a thrift store in Houston while also offering other supports and services throughout the valley.

Corps Officer Lt. Rick Apperson said the funds will go toward purchasing food throughout the coming months for their food bank and other feeding programs.

My daughter was in awe walking through the showroom on Saturday. She fell in love with a summer-themed basket filled with pool floaties from Big Smiles, like a giant mermaid tail and an oversized avocado.

I wasn’t planning on bidding on anything but when we got home, I thought I’d just see how much the bidding was up to on that item. It was going for under the value, and I thought that can’t happen. So I placed a bid, hoping to get it going up higher. I assumed someone would outbid me.

I later got a notification saying that I had won the item. Oops. I’m now the proud owner of several pool floaties without a pool. But we do go to the lake almost every day in the summer, so they are now called lake floaties.

I’ve decided I’ll wrap them up and put them under the tree for my daughters. My middle daughter will be ecstatic. I wasn’t planning on going overboard with presents for my children this year but here we are … again.

In the end, though, it was a win-win-win for me. I got to spend some alone time with one daughter, I donated to two great charities and I am going to bring a lot of joy to my children on Christmas Day.

READ MORE: Lettuce get through another food shortage


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