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Providence O’Christmas Trees Seattle raises more than $1 million to benefit seniors and people in need in the community

One tree sells for $37,500!!!

Cynthia Flash | Dec 17, 2013, 10:49 a.m.
Experience Hendrix tree at Providence O'Christmas Trees gala in Seattle. VIVIAN HSU FOR TEAM PHOTOGENIC © 2013

The glamour and glitz of the holiday season turned into a bidding frenzy on Wednesday Dec. 4 as more than 800 guests who attended Providence O’Christmas Trees’ gala dinner and auction bid up the price of one uniquely decorated Christmas tree to a whopping $37,500 to benefit healthcare, housing and hospice care provided by Providence Health & Service’s Senior and Community Services.

The tree, called "Puppetry (Puppet-Tree)" came loaded with dozens of puppets and a puppet theater to ignite the imagination of guests, young and old. It was donated to Providence Mount St. Vincent assisted living and nursing home to be used to entertain residents once the holiday season ends.

“It was a beautiful and festive evening with so much love and generosity in the room, a true celebration of the outstanding care our ministries provide to some of the most vulnerable members of our community," said Patricia Szabo, director of Providence Senior and Community Services Special Events. "It was a truly spectacular night.”

Guests enthusiastically bought 15 beautifully decorated Christmas trees loaded with toys and gifts and several donated their trees to other charities to help spread the holiday cheer.

The 29th annual event, held at The Westin Seattle, brought Providence O’Christmas Trees’ total fundraising effort for the year to more than $1 million, including in-kind donations.

Event co-chairs Dr. Raymond Lewis and his wife Beth Upton welcomed the crowd and thanked them for their support for the 17,200 individuals served each day by Providence Senior and Community Services.

The sold-out event, which has become Seattle’s premier kick-off to the holiday season, featured Presenting Artist "Experience Hendrix, A Tribute to Jimi." Designer Lisa Wise and Janie Hendrix created the wild purple and jewel-colored musical tree made in honor of Janie's brother, the iconic Seattle-born guitarist and rock star Jimi Hendrix. The tree featured Fender guitars, Native American feathers and artifacts, posters and vintage albums.

The enthusiastic crowd donated $221,000 to the Providence “Wonderful Life Fund,” which helps support the programs that go above and beyond traditional care for those served by Providence Senior and Community Services. Majdi Daher, owner of presenting sponsor Denali Advanced Integration, and his wife Dana and Providence supporter Eliza Flug-Coburn kicked off the giving by each donating generous lead gifts to the fund.

Bidders captured the holiday spirit by offering thousands of dollars for each of the 15 trees up for auction. Many trees sold for more than $10,000 each, including "Holy Night Starry Night," a classic gold and silver tree with a Nativity scene, and "Winter Garden Conservatory," featuring a rich winter garden. Several of the trees were donated to other charities, including Providence Vincent House, Harborview Medical Center and Providence Heritage House at the Market.

KING-TV anchorman Dennis Bounds, back for his 11th year, served as master of ceremonies of the gala.

Providence Health & Services has provided healthcare, housing and supportive care services for people in the Puget Sound area for 157 years. Money raised from this event provides programs and services serving those who are elderly or disabled, disenfranchised, or facing end of life. They are served by Providence ElderPlace, Heritage House at the Market, Providence Hospice of Seattle, Providence Home Services, Providence Infusion and Pharmacy, Providence Supportive Housing, Providence Marianwood, and Providence Mount St. Vincent - all of which are available to residents of King County.

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