The Wynyard Hospital Auxiliary hosted another hugely successful Festival of Wreaths this fall. The auction, the culmination of the festival, was held December 11, and attracted a large crowd of people to the Wynyard Civic Centre.

Though final numbers aren’t yet known, it is estimated that the 79 auction items donated to the Festival raised approximately $13,000, and that’s before adding the $3,000 in matching funds promised by the Scotiabank in Wynyard.

Three wreaths on a pegboard

A wide variety of wreaths, including one made of coffee filters (centre) were donated for sale in the Festival of Wreaths this year.

“Once again, we are overwhelmed by the generous community response to this hospital fundraiser,” stated Auxiliary president Diane Dalman at the outset of the auction.

The money raised by the festival will once again go towards equipment purchases for the Wynyard Hospital.

“We are working with the Saskatoon Health Region on the equipment list for the hospital to try and fulfill their dreams,” Dalman stated.

“The Hospital Auxiliary is invaluable to us here,” noted Kim Kardash, site manager for the Wynyard Hospital. “They continue to amaze me with the wonderful things that they provide for our hospital. Of course, that wouldn’t be possible at all without the overwhelming support of the community of Wynyard and surrounding areas. “

This was the fifth annual Festival of Wreaths event in Wynyard. The first four events raised a combined $53,000 for equipment purchases. The 2013 event alone raised $17,000 – money that was put towards renovating two Palliative Care rooms and a family lounge area at the Wynyard Hospital.

Wreaths and other Christmas decorations

Decorations, baking and other items- not just wreaths – were available for bids in the silent auction.

“The community stepped behind us for our first Festival, and they’ve been there every year since,” Dalman said. “Individuals, businesses and organizations have donated fantastic things for us to auction off, and we always get a great crowd at the auction night, ready to celebrate the holidays and support the Auxiliary and our hospital with their purchases.”

The wreaths that have been donated and sold each year have shown how creative the Wynyard community is.  Donated wreaths have both introduced new products at local businesses, and have been gorgeous works of art for the home, made by the talented people of Wynyard and the surrounding area. Donated wreaths have been made of coffee filters, book pages, felt, candy canes, live spruce, and even dog treats.

But part of what keeps this event new and exciting every year are the items donated that aren’t wreaths — quilted and knitted items, paintings, homemade cookies, homemade bread and Christmas specialties, small, decorated Christmas trees, and other holiday decorations.

Bread and other items on a table.

Fifteen loaves of homemade bread brought in over $1,000 to the Festival of Wreaths. They, along with a variety of other items, were sold in the live auction.

The evening event at which all the donated items are sold gets more fun every year, with local entertainment provided by children’s choirs, goodies, and both live and silent auctions.

“It’s turned out to be a great holiday event for Wynyard,” Dalman noted. “It provides a place where people can get together, visit, be entertained, and get into the Christmas spirit.”

This year’s auctioneer, Ken McCulloch, proved able to get the people of Wynyard and area to open their wallets.

“We are so pleased that Ken agreed to come and do the auctioneering this year,” Dalman noted. “He lived in Wynyard years ago, and is well known in our community. He did just a fantastic job.”

This year, the first two wreaths in the live auction sold for $1,500 each. And 15 loaves of homemade bread brought in over $1,000 all-together.

As for the past number of years, the Wynyard Scotiabank got on board with the Festival again this year. Staff helped out at the auction night, and the bank will be matching funds raised by the festival to a maximum of $5,000.

Auctioneer and wreaths

Ken McCulloch auctioned off a variety of items, from wreaths to homemade bread, at the fifth annual Festival of Wreaths auction in Wynyard on December 11. Both live and silent auctions brought in about $13,000 for the Wynyard Hospital Auxiliary, which will use the funds to purchase equipment for the Wynyard Hospital.