“Angels Among Us” is the theme of this year’s Festival of Trees, an annual benefit for Providence Children’s Services.
“We chose that theme both as a tribute to those kids who come through all sorts of challenges, plus all the generous people who make that possible,” said Lori Kloes, chief development officer of the Providence General Foundation. The nonprofit supports the work of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.
Scheduled for Nov. 27-Dec. 1 at the Tulalip Resort Casino, this will be the 33rd Festival of Trees.
At gatherings formal to folksy, over four days, visitors will celebrate the season and see gorgeously decorated trees. Dinners, cocktails, music and more are on the schedule. For children, there’s a Teddy Bear Breakfast. The public is invited to a free Community Day Nov. 28, with cookies, choirs, and a chance to see Santa.
The Tulalip Tribes will be honored with the third annual Spirit of Festival award. Melvin Sheldon Jr., former chairman of the Tulalip Tribes and now tribal board treasurer, will serve as the opening night emcee.
“They’ve been so wonderful to work with,” Kloes said. Since the festival moved to Tulalip from Everett several years ago, it has seen higher attendance and proceeds, she said, adding “it’s a beautiful venue.”
Since 2014, Tulalip Tribes has been a title sponsor of the festival. And since 2012, contributions made by the Tulalip Tribes to the Providence General Foundation have totaled more than $700,000.
Since its start in the mid-1980s, the festival has raised more than $11 million. The Providence Autism Center, Camp Prov for children with developmental challenges, the hospital’s newborn intensive care unit, and an outdoor therapy area at the Providence Children’s Center have all been supported by festival proceeds.
Sean and Lisa Kelly are chairman and chairwoman of the 2018 festival. This year, organizers will be missing one of the event’s original “angels.”
Everett’s Dottie Piasecki, once executive director of the Providence General Foundation, died Aug. 18. She was 80. Named Snohomish County Working Woman of the Year in 1989, she had also been director of public affairs for Providence Hospital.
“Dottie was extremely proud of the events that she was part of, such as Festival of Trees,” said Piasecki’s obituary, published in The Herald in September. “These events and her fundraising efforts were instrumental towards the completion of the Pavilion for Women and Children, the Providence Regional Cancer Partnership and the $500 million Cymbaluk Medical Tower.”
The pavilion is at the hospital’s Pacific Campus, while the cancer partnership and the Marshall and Katherine Cymbaluk Medical Tower are at the Colby campus.
Kloes, who has been with the foundation 18 years, was hired by Piasecki. “She was a phenomenal fundraiser. She had a passion for the cause,” she said.
Piasecki was part of the first Festival of Trees, Kloes said. Smaller and less formal than today’s festival, it was at Everett’s Forest Park.
“She felt strongly about the fact that every child should have the best start in life,” Kloes said.
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Festival of Trees
The Festival of Trees supports Providence Children’s Services. All events are in the Tulalip Resort Casino’s Orca Ballroom, 10200 Quil Ceda Blvd., Tulalip. They include:
Nov. 27: Opening night, 6-9 p.m. Event features Melvin Sheldon Jr. of the Tulalip Tribes as emcee. Silent auction, buffet dinner, no-host bar, live music from the Apollo Trio. Tickets $65; registration required.
Nov. 28: Community open house, 1-6 p.m. Free and open to the public. Performances by choirs, free beverages and cookies, visits with Santa, and crafts for children 3-6 p.m.
Nov. 30: Gala dinner and live auction, 6-10 p.m. Cocktail reception, appetizers and silent wine auction, dinner and live auction of decorated trees. Tom Lane will serve as emcee. Tickets $275; registration required.
Dec. 1: Teddy Bear Breakfast, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Breakfast, entertainment by Tim Noah, visit with Santa, tree viewing, and a Teddy Bear Store. Tickets $30. Reservations needed. This event hosted by Providence General Children’s Association. (Call 425-317-9825 or email TeddyBearBreakfast@gmail.com)
Tickets or information: 425-258-7999 or www.providencegeneralfoundation.org