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Free open house planned Friday night to let people see trees and quilts up for bid before the Saturday auction

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Elaborately decorated trees and scenes abound at the annual hospice fundraiser.

For the first time in three years, the St. Charles Hospice Christmas Auction will take place in person at its traditional location, and organizers expect a packed house.

"People are really excited to be back in person and being able to support a program that is really emotional and heartfelt for a lot of folks," said Event Coordinator Brandi Ebner. "Our biggest support comes from people who have personally experienced the value of hospice."

For more than 30 years, the Auction has generated a substantial amount of money to benefit St. Charles Hospice, with events prior to the pandemic raising more than $100,000. That money helps cover the expenses for patients and families that insurance does not cover.

With the return to an in-person event, the Auction will again feature an open house on Friday evening, Dec. 2, from 5-7 p.m., at the Crook County Fairgrounds' indoor arena. People can visit free of charge and view all of the trees and quilts up for bid, while enjoying a variety of other festive attractions. Santa will be on hand and several different family friendly crafts and games will be provided, including a Letters to Santa station. Amidst these attractions, the Crook County Choir will enhance the festive atmosphere, performing Christmas songs.

"We always have cookies, coffee and hot chocolate that is all complimentary," Ebner added.

Visitors will undoubtedly note that the Christmas trees and quilts up for bid are not your standard trees or quilts. Of the 13 trees expected at the 2022 event, most of them are very elaborately decorated and are part of an overall theme and scene.

And Ebner made specific mention of a quilt that will be up for bid. The three-piece wall hanging celebrates the past 100 years of Crook County history.

"The courthouse is front and center," she said. "The detail in this quilt is unreal — they have implemented so many iconic views, activities, logos and businesses in Crook County's history. You could stare at it for an hour and not see it all. It is absolutely phenomenal." The quilt was contributed by the Tappert family, whose members have supported hospice and the Auction for years. Ebner said the quilt took about 1,300 hours to create over a two-year timeframe.

The Auction will be held on Saturday evening, Dec. 3, from 5-9 p.m., and will include a dinner. Dr. Paul Slater of Slater Chiropractic will again emcee the Auction and Dennis Turmon will serve as the auctioneer along with a guest auctioneer.

Seating is limited to 600 people, and tickets will be available until they are sold out. Those who want to attend the Auction can call the St. Charles Hospice Foundation Office (541-706-6996) to purchase tickets or visit

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