The 22nd Annual Hospice Christmas Auction is scheduled for next Saturday

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Examples of trees sold at previous Hospice Christmas Auctons

Christmas is less than a month away, and for many that means it’s time to go find a tree to decorate the home for the holidays.

Once again, local residents can cross that task off their list while providing money to a charitable cause. The annual Hospice Christmas Auction returns this December, offering local residents an evening filled with food, prizes, and holiday cheer.

The auction, now in its 22nd year, benefits St. Charles Hospice in Prineville.

“The fundraising is designed to provide care for persons who do not have insurance,” said Kay Kludt, St. Charles Hospice volunteer coordinator, “to provide massage therapists for pain management, and to provide volunteer enrichment for those who go and provide companionship and respite for the patients.”

This year, the auction theme is “Christmas on the Front,” and it is geared toward honoring military veterans. Like years past, visitors are invited to bid on a variety of synthetic trees, sporting numerous themes as conceived by the individuals, groups, or businesses that donated them.

“A lot of them come in with Western themes, or hunting themes,” Kludt said. “One last year was a tribute to Lucille Ball and the whole ‘I Love Lucy’ theme. It was so colorful and had all kinds of different things.”

Although this year, Kludt noted that some trees pay tribute to those who served in the military.

“We do have a couple trees coming in that are more patriotic.”

In addition to trees, participants can also bid on quilts and other silent auction items.

While the core activities remain, some changes have been made to the event this year. Most notably, the auction will be held at the Crook County Fairgrounds’ indoor arena, and not Carey Foster Hall.

“We have simply outgrown the hall. This will allow us to have more folks come in and actually have a chair to sit in,” Kludt said.

She added that the arena will be decorated like a MASH unit to further the military theme. Also, patrons are urged to dress warm — but not dress up and risk messing up their clothes on the arena’s dirt floor.

The auction will feature dinner courtesy of Baldy’s Barbecue. Menu items will include beef brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken, baked beans, coleslaw, and more. A full bar will be available and visitors are welcome to purchase a $5 raffle ticket to win a 55-inch Vizio flat screen TV and Blu-ray player.

“It’s going to be a really fun event,” Kludt concluded.

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