Over the past decade, Bear River Valley Hospital’s Jubilee of Trees has become a staple of the holiday season in northern Box Elder County, and this year’s event certainly didn’t disappoint.
More than a dozen decorated trees graced the Box Elder County Fairgrounds Event Center over the weekend of Nov. 16. Some were creative and quirky, such as a construction-themed tree and a rainbow/unicorn theme. Others served as touching tributes to those who have passed away, some way before their time.
The trees, and the money they raise to benefit various programs and community initiatives at the hospital, certainly weren’t the only attractions. Kids and their families were delighted by a visit from two reindeer that made the journey over from Willow Park in Logan, and children came decked out in their cheeriest holiday attire for some one-on-one time with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Bear River Valley Hospital spokesman Chad Hunt said the event has grown in terms of popularity and donations every year, with the Intermountain Foundation pulling in nearly $75,000 last year from the silent auction that serves as the centerpiece of the Jubilee.
The event was originally held at the hospital, but organizers moved it to the fairgrounds six or seven years ago.
“It’s been an incredible home for the event. We look forward to having it there,” Hunt said. “We’ve had great support from the local community, lots of our local businesses, and just people who are willing to support the event and make it thrive and help provide better health care in the northern end of our county.”
The weather was ideal on Saturday for a visit from Santa’s reindeer, and kids lined up by the dozens to pet the animals and have their pictures taken with them before heading in for milk and cookies with Santa (and to let him know how nice they’ve been this year before sharing their wish lists).
The main dinner and auction took place Saturday night, but that wasn’t the end of it.
Another poignant tradition associated with the Jubilee of trees is the Evening of Remembrance, when those who have passed on in the course of the year are highlighted and honored. In contrast to past years, organizers saved the remembrance event for last this year.