A festival for the trees, a cultural donation

An evening of festive holiday decor met the guests of the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum’s 14th annual Festival of Trees.

By Brian Cameron
The festival was originally designed to act as the sole fundraiser for TCPM and has grown in gallantry and popularity every since. Complete with a full assortment of hors d‘oeuvres, wine and a litany of items up for silent auction the benefitting event brought a proverbial who’s who to the Pioneer Museum on an otherwise brisk December evening.
“The Festival of Trees is a simple theory really,” said Gary Albright, Director, TCPM. “People donate the decorated trees to the museum, we sell them to the interested buyers and then deliver them directly to their door a few days later, all the proceeds go into funding the Pioneer Museum.”
Ticket-holding guests redeemed their fare at the front entrance and were delighted to the collective efforts brought forth by various local groups to showcase their creative handiwork in the form of an elegantly decorated Christmas tree.
Taking on various visual themes the trees each had a distinct look and design, one even in the form of an ostentatious wedding dress, complete with the bust section on top to provide a fashion friendly appeal to the already orb-shaped tree just below it.
According to Albright the proceeds from this year’s Festival of Trees event goes into various educational outreach programs that the museum sponsors throughout the year.
“This year we will focus the proceeds into specific educational programs for youth involved with the museum,” said Albright. “Everything from students who have a focus on the environment, history, publishing, writing, it’s great feel to know we are creating authors with this event tonight.”
The event brought in festive visitors to wine and dine amongst some of the ornately decorated Christmas trees, bid on holiday themed items for the silent auction, or even purchase one of the trees outright.
Catering for the evening was provided by Cindy Oswald of Twins Ranch Catering and wine was generously donated by the Blue Heron French Cheese Company as well as Tillamook Bowling Lanes, all to help make the evening one of the more festive throughout the holiday season.
“When this fundraising event was started it was intended to not compete with the other holiday themed activities going on throughout the county,” said Albright. “Now its turned into a staple event for not just the museum, but also the community as well.”