Sandy Demaris and Sandy Adams prepared a tree for the Pioneer Memorial Hospice Auction last week, Demaris smiled, "We hope to still be doing these when we turn 100," she quipped. "It's good to have a partner, too. That way we won't forget why we're here," she added.
Not many people forgot why they were there. The annual event raised nearly $25,000, according to rough preliminary estimates by Carol Parker, event coordinator.
Carey Foster Hall at the Crook County fairgrounds was filled with trees of all descriptions, quilts of wonderful design and execution, and many silent auction items. The trees were created by children and adults alike, and ranged in style from the enthusiastic, cellophane ribboned one from Cub Scout Troop 263, to the Camp Fire tree, which featured edible strings of popcorn, cranberry, and dried apricots, to the sophisticated Starlight on Snowfall done by PMH Home Health and Hospice employees.
"We have very generous people in Prineville," stated Carol Parker, " ... and it shows in all their efforts to help others."
Anther tree featured an historic approach. Frontier Christmas 1825 came with it's own retelling of the first Christmas in Crook County, and hand crafted birch bark canoes, Native American dolls, small cabins. The donator also offered, if you don't like all the items, he'd come and take them off for you. Many area businesses also donated trees.
There were 25 quilts donated this year, more than in previous events, and that was a factor in the success of the fund raising. Two quilts were donated by PMH employees. Both were made by Chief Financial Officer Colleen Croghan and were embellished with embroidery by Becky Hite of the purchasing department. The Liberty Quilt, representing the firefighter memorial, sold for a record $2000.
Silent Auction items ranged from gift baskets laden with bath products, to those with cheeses, to hand knit sweaters and afghans, fabric art aprons, vests, and wall hangings.
There was even a creative holiday deer made from towels, white and lavender, with a lavender ribbon forming the nose, ears made with lavender wash cloth decorated with sprightly sprigs of lavender and white.
"People were extra generous this year," states Parker with appreciation. "We had great auctioneers, great music and a great time and a super committee. People put their hearts into everything they did. My volunteers were awesome."
Dennis Turman and Dean Edgerly both shared auctioneering duties, and reportedly had a great time, and did not charge the committee for their services. Musician Mark Mobley, Crook County High School Jazz Choir and friends donated their services as well.
Donated decorated trees recognized for extra efforts included Crook County Campfire and Nature's Bounty for best use of theme; Chavez Roofing with `From the Heart' for most creative; and PMH Home Health and Hospice with `Starlight on Snowfall' for most beautiful.
"At the end of the event, everything went to a good home and there was nothing that didn't sell. We had a very successful weekend, and it will make a difference in so many lives," Parker adds.