Hospice of Redmond’s annual fundraising event, Festival of Trees, just kicked off as Tour of Trees 2020. The event features 25 locally decorated Christmas trees on display and available for viewing in businesses throughout Central Oregon through Dec. 5.

For 36 years, Hospice of Redmond has hosted Festival of Trees as its annual fundraising event to sup port various hospice services for the uninsured. In its 37th year, the event has changed to allow the community to actively participate in the event and support local businesses while maintaining safe distancing. The event will offer both an online auction and a televised auction. Online bidding runs Dec. 1-5, and the televised auction will be held from 6-7 p.m. on Dec. 5, and aired on Central Oregon Daily.

“We understand the impact COVID-19 has had on our community and feel strongly about continuing the tradition of Festival of Trees,” said Karla Stead, Executive Director of Hospice of Redmond. “Many Central Oregonians have voiced their excitement in being able to participate in this longtime tradition despite current restrictions safely.”

In deciding how to host Festival of Trees amid a pandemic safely, Hospice of Redmond formed a committee to develop an alternative that honored the event’s tradition while also following CDC and Oregon Health Authority guidelines.

“Traditions around the holidays are going to be different this year,” said Jane McGuire, Operations Manager at Hospice of Redmond. “We hope that Tour of Trees brings joy and Christmas spirit to our community.”

Tree locations, tree descriptions, sponsors, decorators, and additional details are posted on the Hospice of Redmond website to encourage viewing and bidding on trees. Also, event signs directing Tour of Trees’ viewers to the tree locations are placed along the routes. Trees will be auctioned during a televised auction from 6-7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Funds raised at Festival of Trees make it possible for Hospice of Redmond to provide services to termi nally ill people and their families not covered by Medicare or private insurance. These services include bereavement counseling, the Transitions program for people with life-limiting illnesses, and Camp Sun rise, an annual grief camp for children throughout Central Oregon.

For more information about Tour of Trees 2020, contact Hospice of Redmond at (541) 548-7483 or email festivaloftrees@hospiceofredmond.org. If you wish to support Hospice of Redmond through giv ing, please visit their website hospiceofredmond.org and click the donate button.

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