Lakes Crisis Center's Festival of Trees fundraiser offers tour of local businesses, online tree bidding and even some cash prizes
This is the fifth time that the Lakes Crisis & Resource Center has hosted a Festival of Trees fundraiser — but the annual holiday event looks quite a bit different this year. After it was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, organizers were taking no chances with this year's festival, and made it into a tour, with trees being displayed at 16 local businesses and each tree being offered for online bidding instead of holding one large, in-person live auction. Trees are now available for viewing, and bidding, until noon on Tuesday, Nov. 30.
There was no Festival of Trees in Detroit Lakes last year. In fact, there were very few in-person events happening at all during the 2020 holiday season, or through much of early 2021.
With COVID-19 concerns ramping up in Minnesota once again, organizers of the annual fundraiser hosted by the Lakes Crisis & Resource Center (LCRC) were taking no chances of this year's event being canceled, and made all bidding for the trees online-only.
"After two years of canceled fundraisers, we didn't want to have to cancel this one at the last minute too," explained LCRC Executive Director Anna Sellin.
But at the same time, they wanted the public to see the beautiful, creative tree designs in person, rather than just in photos — so they turned the festival into a tour, with the 16 trees and adornments included in the auction fundraiser being displayed at local businesses for public viewing during business hours.
Tree locations are as follows: 180 Balance and DL Floral, both inside the Washington Square Mall; Minnesota Title & Closing Co. (819 Washington Ave.); Edward Jones (818 Washington Ave.); Mainstream Boutique (833 Washington Ave.); Beautiful Junque (918 Washington Ave.); Central Floral (310 Frazee St. — inside Central Market building); Bremer Bank (115 Holmes St. East); Historic Holmes Theatre (806 Summit Ave.); Midwest Bank (613 Hwy. 10 East); Diamond Willow (1558 Randolph Road); Schiller's House (1208 Rossman Ave.); Detroit Mountain (29409 170th St.); Seven Sisters Spirits (25275 S. Melissa Drive); and Jay's Garden Boutique (33636 State Hwy. 34).
As an incentive for going to view all 16 trees and adornments, LCRC will also be holding a cash prize drawing on Wednesday, Dec. 1. Stamp cards are available at all 16 tree locations, and those who pick one up and fill it with stamp stickers can turn it in at any of the 16 locations by noon on Nov. 30.
"Each business has their own sticker," Sellin said, and those stickers are designed to be placed in designated spots on the stamp card. "To be eligible for the drawing, participants must turn in a completed card."
Cash prizes totaling $500 will be awarded, though the exact amount of each prize has not yet been determined, she noted. Event sponsor Design2Sell donated the $500 to be given away in the drawings, Sellin added.
Though past proceeds from the tree auction have often gone to specific LCRC programs, she said, this year's proceeds will go to support the center as a whole.
Sellin also noted that those who take the tour will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite tree; the winner will receive a trophy donated for the occasion by Trophy House, another festival sponsor.
Photos of the trees have been posted on the live auction website . A link to the auction site is also available at the LCRC website , and videos and other event updates will be posted on the center's Facebook page .
If you go
What: Lakes Crisis & Resource Center presents the Festival of Trees Tour 2021
Where: Sixteen Detroit Lakes locations including 180 Balance, Beautiful Junque, Bremer Bank, Central Floral, DL Floral, Detroit Mountain, Diamond Willow, Edward Jones, Historic Holmes Theatre, Jay's Garden Boutique, Mainstream Boutique, Midwest Bank, Minnesota Title & Closing Co., Schiller's House and Seven Sisters Spirits.
When: Now through Tuesday, Nov. 30
How: Pick up a stamp card at any of the participating businesses listed above and get your card stamped at each location, then turn in the completed card for a chance to win a cash prize. Drawing to be held at noon on Dec. 1.
You can also bid on one of the trees to take home for the holidays by going to the live auction website at lakescrisisresourcecenter.betterworld.org/auctions/FOTT , or clicking on the link at either the LCRC website, lakescrisis.com , or its Facebook page, facebook.com/lakescrisis . Bidding ends at noon on Nov. 30. All proceeds will benefit the Lakes Crisis & Resource Center, which is based in Detroit Lakes.