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Festival of Trees raises $37k in 2014

The Festival of Trees celebrated a record year, raising over $37,000 for the Breast Health for Strong Families Program and the Celilo Cancer Center Fund.

The 16th annual event auctioned off themed trees in the popular December fundraiser held at the Civic Auditorium. It was a definite improvement over last year’s weather-impacted event said Celeste Hill-Thomas, executive director of the Mid-Columbia Health Foundation, which hosts the Festival of Trees.

The Celilo Cancer Center fund “is our patient assistant fund,” she said.

The fund provides “anything that a patient needs while they’re going through cancer treatment,” she said.

That can range from supplements to acupuncture to massages to aesthetician services for women.

The health foundation has 33 different funds, not all of them active. They range from cardiac rehab to a visiting health patient fund that pays for items ranging from bath chairs to canes.

The foundation distributes about $475,000 a year including scholarships, fund disbursements through patient funds, and grants to local non-profit organizations, Hill-Thomas said.

“One thing that’s coming up that we love is the Tradition of Compassion event where we recognize volunteers in our community,” she said. The deadline for submitting nominees for awards is Jan. 30.

Call the health foundation at 541-296-7275 or visit to nominate someone.


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