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Trees help raise $1 million at gala

By Keegan Prosser on January 25, 2013 – No Comment

Patti Butler with daughter Sarah Butler

By Rose Dennis

Sharing the “gift of giving” made the 28th annual Providence O’Christmas Trees gala even more meaningful over the holidays. This magical event, under the leadership of chairman Marshal McReal and Providence Director Patricia Szabo, raised a whopping $1 million.

Patrons raised their paddles high and purchased 16 beautifully decorated Christmas trees loaded with toys and gifts. Some of the decorated trees were later donated to other local charities to help spread the holiday cheer. These included: Treehouse for Kids, Harborview Medical Center, Providence St. Joseph’s residence for retired Sisters of Providence, Providence Marianwood, Providence Vincent House, Providence Mount St. Vincent and Providence Heritage House at the Market.

This year’s Presenting Artist was Olivier Wevers, Artistic Director and Choreographer of Whim W’Him dance company, who decorated a delicate whimsical tree in collaboration with visual artist Jared Rue. This tree sold for $11,500.

Several of the trees sold for $15,000 each, including “Barking Up The Right Tree,” which featured dozens of stuffed dogs in tribute to human and canine relationships everywhere, and “Home,” featuring fond memories of Christmas at home with family.

This enthusiastic crowd also donated a record $245,000 to the Providence “Chuck Hawley Wonderful Life Fund,” named in honor of the long-time Providence executive who passed away in 2011. This fund will help support the programs that go above and beyond traditional care. Providence Health & Services is a not-for-profit organization and ministry of the Sisters of Providence that has provided health, housing and supportive care services for people in the Puget Sound area for 156 years.

Funds will be used to enhance the lives of those in need through healthcare, housing and hospice. Programs and services include Providence ElderPlace, Heritage House at the Market, Providence Hospice of Seattle, Providence Home Services, Providence Marianwood, Providence Infusion and Pharmacy Services, Providence Supportive Housing and Providence Mount St. Vincent.

Rose Dennis writes about events in Bellevue and the Greater Seattle area. She lives in Bellevue.

Photos by Team Photogenic