More than 650 people attend annual Hospice auction on Dec. 2; top tree nets $11,500

 - More than 650 packed the indoor arena last Saturday for the annual Hospice Christmas Auction. The event raised more than $100,000 for the St. Charles Hospice and Transition.

The Hospice Christmas Auction raised $105,000 for St. Charles Hospice and Transition patients during the 26th annual event on Saturday, Dec. 2.

The proceeds are consistent with the last couple of years, only $3,000 shy of last year's record-breaking total.

"We feel very fortunate that the community has helped us raise over $100,000 for the last two years," said Kelly Jordan of the St. Charles Foundation.

The event invites people and local businesses to bid on elaborately decorated artificial Christmas trees and quilts as well as silent auction gift baskets and other prizes.

"We had 19 trees, one wreath and 20 quilts, and for the first time ever, one of our quilts actually had a display of its own," said Event Coordinator Ann Fisher. "So our quilts are now morphing to get some add-on pieces like the trees have. This year is the first time that that's ever happened, which I thought was pretty awesome."

"The Christmas Cabin" display, which Tim Peiters of Rosendin Electric donated, brought the highest bid. The display featured a 10-foot by 10-foot cabin with a front porch, which fit the "Christmas at the Cabin" theme, as well as a cot, Christmas tree and decorations. It sold for $11,500.

Norma Horak donated the highest-selling quilt, "Springtime." The winner donated it back, and it resold, bringing in a total of $7,650.

More than 650 people attended the fundraiser, held in the Crook County Fairgrounds indoor arena, which was similar to last year's attendance.

Nearly 150 smaller items and gift certificates were donated for the silent auction.

"I thought it went really well, and talking with people, they seemed to be having a great time," Fisher said, adding that a lot of people dressed for the theme in buffalo plaid.

"We had to change caterers, and this year we used Cody's Catering out of Bend, and they did an amazing job," Fisher said. "Overall, I thought it was very successful."

 - "A Hunter's Best Friend" was one of several outstanding decorated Christmas Trees auctioned during the annual event Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Crook County Fairgrounds Indoor Arena.The funds are used for Hospice and Transitions patients by helping to cover the cost of complementary therapies for symptom management, caregiving assistance to families, community bereavement services and Lifeline services, Jordan explained.

"The funds raised each year are vital to the Hospice program because they cover what insurance does not," she said.

"Hospice comes in when families need them the most and really provide a service, and not just a medical service — which is needed — but also service to the family," Fisher added.

"Year after year, the community continues to show up for this event, and we are very grateful for their steadfast support for the Hospice program," Jordan said.

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