Of all the activities supporting Virginia Gay through the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation, one stands out for raising spirits – the annual Holiday Tree Walk and Silent Auction.

The event began eight years ago as a project of the Cardio-Pulmonary Department. Various donors put up fully-decorated trees to be bid on during a silent auction. This year’s event began November 1st and bidding ends at 5:00 PM sharp on Tuesday, November 21st. High bidders will then be determined and the trees may be taken home by their new owners. The event has grown in size through the years, and each year generates more than $10,000 for purchases of equipment or upgrades to Virginia Gay facilities.

Creativity Abounds

Many donors have participated for several years, and for them planning for the next year’s event begins as soon as the trees are on display. Ideas come from holiday displays, Pinterest, and just plain imagination. Donors often rely on many others to help create their designs and spend weeks preparing.

This year is no exception as you view display entries like “Christmas Night Sky” donated by Luke and Kelly Henkle. This tree incorporates horseshoes and wine bottles in a very unique way. Our agricultural heritage is also represented in the tree decorated and donated by Eden Community Aid. According to the display, the ladies of Eden Township have enjoyed fellowship and made a tradition of supporting the hospital many, many years. The tree is adorned with grain filled glass ornaments, pine cones and burlap balls. Trees and wreaths of all shapes and sizes are now on display in the hospital’s lobby and ready to accept bids.

Whether you donate a tree, make a donation through the auction, or just wander around the hospital’s lobby to look at the trees, the delight brought about by the creative holiday decorations will make it worth your while.

New for 2017!

This year features an opportunity to bid on one tree being offered exclusively through the hospital’s Facebook page. Bidders can see a photo of the tree on Facebook and check to see where the bidding is at any time. “We are hoping to attract bids from people all over the country,” says Kim Frank, one of the original organizers of the Tree Walk. “The donation includes free shipping to the highest bidder anywhere in the continental U.S.”

The corporate sponsor for this year’s Holiday Tree Walk is Farmers Savings Bank & Trust in Vinton and Traer. Farmers Savings Bank is in its 102nd year of providing banking, lending and trust services. Each year the bank supports numerous community events and activities in both Traer and Vinton.

“We are very pleased to be given the opportunity to sponsor this year’s Tree Walk for the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation,” explained Darlys Hulme, Farmers Savings Bank & Trust president. “We are focused on providing excellent service to our banking customers, but we also realize that our banks can only be as robust as the communities they serve. Through sponsorships like this one we are doing what we can to support Virginia Gay so the hospital and clinics can continue to improve the health of everyone using their services. This year is especially gratifying because it is the 25th Anniversary of the Annual Tree of Lights Campaign and funds raised are to help bring 3D mammography testing to VGH.”