December 3, 2018 7:00 pm
Updated: December 3, 2018 9:56 pm

Professionally decorated one-of-a-kind Christmas trees up for a grabs at fundraising auction in Kelowna

WATCH ABOVE: Community reporter Shay Galor views one-of-a-kind professionally decorated Christmas trees which will be auction off to help raise funds for the bereavement program at Central Okanagan Hospice Association.

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It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas.  Especially at the Kelowna Innovation Centre, where nine beautifully decorated holiday trees are on display awaiting new homes at the first annual tree auction.

The event is in support of the Central Okanagan Hospice Association (C.O.H.A.), an organization that has been providing compassionate care and support to those dying or grieving for 36 years.

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“We provide supportive care service so we have an array of volunteers to provide emotional, social, spiritual and practical support,” said Natasha Girard, executive director at C.O.H.A. “It’s really meeting the needs of where people are with their grief and supporting those needs as they transition through their grief to heal.”

READ MORE: Germany goes for gold with ‘Europe’s most expensive’ Christmas tree

The organization joined forces with Homes for the Holidays, a yearly tradition in the Okanagan which took place a couple of weeks ago.

Private homes around the valley threw their doors open to showcase incredible holiday decorations and trees. Now those work-of-art Christmas trees are being auctioned off.

“This is the first year we are doing the tree auction and we’re pretty happy because all of these beautiful trees were in Homes for Holidays a couple of weeks ago,” Girard said. “Whether you need a tree for the office or your bedroom or your new home — they’re all here at the Innovation Centre.”

Funds raised at the tree auction will go towards the C.O.H.A. Bereavement Program.

“We are having our tree auction from 5 to 7 p.m. People can come, they can pick up a paddle and bid on their favourite tree,” said Girard. “And all the proceeds this year will be going towards our bereavement program which is experiencing a 20-percent growth over last year.”

READ MORE: Would you buy half a Christmas tree?

Debbie MacMillan is the co-chair for the Homes for the Holidays committee and is thrilled with the partnership

“We find tree sponsors so each home has its own unique tree. It’s decorated by a professional designer,” MacMillan said.

MacMillan points out, from modern to tradition, colourful to elegant, there is a tree for every taste.

“An added bonus to the people that are buying these trees is it’s going to be delivered to their door and actually to the room that they want to have it in,” MacMillan said. “And then just take the included tree bag after the Christmas season, pull it over the tree and put it in a storage place.”

Those who cannot make the event are encouraged to email a bid along with the requested tree name to Nica@hospicecoha.org. The maximum bid, as well as credit card and contact information, is required. The trees can be viewed on the C.O.H.A website.

The tree auction takes place Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Kelowna Innovation Centre at 460 Doyle Avenue. Auction paddles are provided with a $5 donation.

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