Ponoka gets its first Festival of Trees

Due to a lack of governmental funding, the Ponoka Hospital Foundation will be the first recipient of proceeds

Due to a lack of governmental funding, the Ponoka Hospital Foundation will be the first recipient of proceeds from Ponoka’s inaugural Festival of Trees, coming to town mid- November.

The Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society (PAECS) made the decision to host the anticipated event, which is popular in several other communities, after members of the public stepped forward and said the Calnash Ag Event Centre might be able to house it.

PAECS vice-president Sherry Gummow says the Ponoka Hospital Foundation was on the top of the society’s list of recipients. “After we met with them, there’s a definite need because there’s a lot of things not funded by the government.”

The majority of the money raised will be used for pediatric equipment, including a Broselow pediatric crash cart, another labour and delivery bed, a fetal monitor, upgrade and replace vital signs machines and IVs, a vein viewer and bassinets. Any money left over will be used to replace the televisions in the patient rooms.

“We hope the community . . . supports this, because the money stays local,” said Gummow.

On Nov. 13, a gala and live auction of the decorated Christmas trees will be held at the ag centre. On Nov. 14 and 15, events will include breakfast with Santa and an event geared toward seniors. Gummow says ideas for more events are still in the works.

There will also be a silent auction and the live auction will be taken on by fundraising auctioneer Danny Hooper. “We’re excited to have him coming. He’s the entertainment for the gala,” said Gummow.