Festival of Trees ready to bring a punch with Danny Hooper

The buzz is building around Ponoka’s first annual Legacy Ford Festival of Trees and one of the main drivers behind the force

The buzz is building around Ponoka’s first annual Legacy Ford Festival of Trees and one of the main drivers behind the force is acclaimed charity fundraiser, auctioneer Danny Hooper.

“I’m very, very excited to be coming to Ponoka,” said Hooper. “I really enjoy working Festival of Trees events . . . I’m really excited to see what the Ponoka volunteers bring.”

Each year Danny Hooper Productions helps raise $25 million dollars for different charities in more than 120 events.

Hooper recently wrote a book called Easy Money and it dwells on numerous tips and ideas to generate record profits at a fundraiser. He says a few Festival of Trees volunteers have attended a book seminar and he plans to employ a few of those tricks during Ponoka’s event, held Thursday Nov. 13 to Saturday Nov. 15.

“I’ve got lots of tricks up my sleeve,” said Hooper. “We’ll be introducing a few things that night.”

Hooper plans on pulling out the wide card auction, which encourages on the spot donations from event guests who want to get involved. He says, in the past, there have been some very interesting things brought to the table. This includes a painless vasectomy and the front row pew at church during Midnight Mass, which sold for $3,000.

“I work very hard to make the auction entertaining and engaging,” said Hooper.

“You see it all in my business and I specialize exclusively in fundraising auctions,” he added.

Hooper called his first auction in 1987 after his uncle encouraged him to attend a Ducks Unlimited auction.

While originally an entertainer, Hooper enjoyed the experience so much, he attended auctioneer school and since then has blended the two streams.

“Just realizing it was an opportunity to not just be an auctioneer but be an entertainer, and that’s where my passion lays,” said Hooper.

A self-proclaimed gabber with an offbeat, ever-ready sense of humor, he says being a charity auctioneer is a natural state for him.