The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley hosted its 20th annual Festival of Trees this weekend, raising over $200,000 in its first two days.
The event is one of the biggest fundraisers for the Boys & Girls Club and featured trees, both big and small, decked out and ornamented in holiday fashion for attendees to bid on, the crown jewel of which – a 15-foot-tall ornamented spectacle titled “Grand Holiday” – sold for $8,500.
Matt Nelson, CEO of Boys & Girls Club SCV, said the money raised at the event will make sure the doors stay open as the club continues to grow.
“This is a huge fundraiser for the club and we started it 20 years ago,” said Nelson. “Between this and our auction in June [it] provides a good chunk of the operating funds for the club throughout the year so that we can… provide all the after-school programs.”
The Boys & Girls Club has expanded from two to five locations in the valley, so having solid fundraisers is crucial to keeping facilities running for more than 1,000 kids.
“It’s an amazing event. We’re very excited to be able to do it at this scale again, and I think the community’s really enjoying it coming out,” said Nelson. “We have kind of some diehard Festival of Tree fans who have been coming for years and they come in and they’re so excited to see the gingerbread houses and the trees and all the different themes. It really does kick off the holiday season for people that just love the holidays.”
Jaci Hoffman, volunteer chair for the festival, said more than 100 volunteers participated this year to make the event happen, with lots of them putting in many hours to set up and decorate the trees.
“They are a huge part of this event. I just mostly deal with the volunteers that they have during the event, but there’s an entire set of volunteers who put the trees together, you know, the designers and they put in tons of hours,” said Hoffman.
This year, the event held 26 tabletop trees, more than a dozen full-sized trees, 22 gingerbread houses, and 15 wreaths. Friday was a “soft opening” with an evening gala, with Saturday and Sunday being the main days for general admission.
Saturday night’s feature event was a magic show, titled “Holiday Hocus Pocus,” while Sunday’s feature event will be a “Jingle Jam swing dance” from 3 to 6 p.m. General admission for Sunday (from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) is $5 and admission for the swing dance on Sunday (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.) is $10.