Planners with the Ponoka Festival of Trees are gearing up for a busy time this year with the announcement that entertainment auctioneer Danny Hooper will return to Ponoka for a third year in a row.
Hooper’s auctioneering antics will be the main feature Nov. 17 during the opening night gala at the Calnash Ag Event Centre, explained Sherry Gummow, spokesperson for the festival.
“The festival would not be where it’s at if it was not for Danny Hooper,” explained Gummow in an interview.
Hooper brings with him some unique entertainment while also managing to raise more money than many thought was possible at past galas for the Festival of Trees.
“He blew everybody out of the water as to what he did,” says Gummow.
She looks forward to how things will look this year and is pleased to once again see the festival at the ag event centre. The priority is for the Ponoka and District Health Foundation, which is raising money for the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre endoscopy program. “What we do for the Health Foundation, it benefits the whole community.”
And then some. The hospital is now seeing visits from patients around central Alberta and is being recognized across the province. “It’s been a huge boon to our hospital in general.”
The goal is to bring $200,000 to the hospital with the Festival of Trees, the health foundation and the Ponoka Auxiliary working together to make that a reality. The festival is one part of the overall fundraising efforts.
The festival organizers, said Gummow, are excited to help bring those funds to the hospital. She added most people know someone who has been affected by colon cancer. She feels this is a worthy cause to raise money for.
This year’s silent auction sees an exciting addition of “text-to-bid” where those eager to purchase a special item can monitor their bids, or add to them, via a smart phone. “We will have some techies there to help set up.”
Tickets are selling now and can be purchased at Ponoka News, Busted Ladies Lingerie and the Calnash Ag Event Centre.