Local businesses and families donated 61 trees decorated for the holidays to this year's Hope for the Holidays fundraiser for New Hope for Families, a shelter for families in Bloomington. The three-day event was held in the Switchyard Park Pavilion. For two days, Nov. 15 and 16, people could buy a floor or tabletop tree and 21 trees were sold. On the final day, Nov. 17, the remaining 40 trees were auctioned off to the highest bidder.
While the final numbers were still being tallied on Monday, about $74,000 — the most ever — was raised, according to Emily Pike, executive director. For the third year, the event was sponsored by Catalent.
The highest selling tree included four bottles of bourbon and sold for $3,000, Pike said. Other trees were decorated with various themes, from a tree made entirely of wood and decorated with handcrafted ornaments to a "Very Merry Swift-mas" tree that includes tickets to a Taylor Swift concert. Another by Alpha Phi Alpha was themed as Wakanda from "The Black Panther." A Spider Man-themed tree was donated back to New Hope and given to a father and his son who had just moved into their new home.
In all, 22 trees were donated back to New Hope and distributed to families who recently moved into homes after spending time in the shelter or a hotel. A new mother received a baby-themed tree decorated with items that could be re-purposed for decorating a baby's room.
"It is special just to kind of do something for these families in their first new home," Pike said.
This article originally appeared on The Herald-Times: New Hope for Families event nets about $74,000 to shelter families