Trees for sale to highest bidder |

Trees for sale to highest bidder

Hayden holiday auction to help charity groups, organizations

Blythe Terrell

If you go

What: Christmas tree auction

When: doors at 1 p.m., auction begins at 1:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Routt County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 365 S. Poplar St., Hayden

For information, to enter or to bid: Lori Laird, 846-0782; Laurie Hallenbeck, 276-4152

— Visitors to this year’s Christmas tree auction in Hayden could snag a plant draped with nutcrackers or boughs bulging with ornaments made of shell casings.

The trees, the first by the Routt County CattleWomen and the second by Love INC of Craig, will be auctioned off Sunday as part of the charity event. Nonprofit and community groups enter decorated trees, wreaths and centerpieces, which sell to the highest bidder. The groups pay to participate and get 100 percent of the sale profit from their entry.

The Friends of the Christmas Tree Festival, a group of about 11 Hayden women, is putting on the event for the second year. The Hayden Heritage Center handled the sale for the previous 19 years, Laurie Hallenbeck said. Lori Laird, another organizer, said the women rushed to carry on the tradition.

“Laurie Hallenbeck, she called me last year in a panic because the museum was not going to do the event,” Laird said. “We took over the event, and that’s why we call ourselves the Friends of the Christmas Tree Festival, because we kind of tag on to what they did and try to keep it going.”

Last year, the auction raised about $5,800 by selling 55 items for 22 groups, Laird said. Hallenbeck said entries were down this year. Community and nonprofit groups interested in participating can enter trees, wreaths and centerpieces by calling Laird by noon Saturday.

Those who want to bid can attend the auction or submit absentee bids to Laird before 1 p.m. Sunday.

Groups who enter items pay $5 per centerpiece and wreath, and $10 per tree, Hallenbeck said. That money goes toward organizing costs. Remaining funds will go to LIFT-UP of Hayden, Hayden Food Bank and Mission of Grace Baptist Church’s emergency fund, Laird said. Last year, the women donated $750 to the community after the sale, she said.

The women also serve coffee provided by GGs Coffee Shop, hot chocolate and desserts. They give out door prizes at the event, too.

“We kept $250 for help with starter stuff this year, and First National Bank of the Rockies has donated all the postage for the last two years,” Hallenbeck said. “So that was really great.”

For the second year, Hallenbeck said, a pro will do the auctioneering. Kenny Kawcak, of Craig, donates his services to the sale.

Organizations submitting trees include the high school’s After Prom group, Girl Scout troops and a Moffat County alumni group, Hallenbeck said. Laird said the women weren’t strict: Routt and Moffat groups can enter the auction if the money they raise is going to charity or youths in the community.

“As long as you’re not trying to make money off it, and it’s going to go out to a local organization,” Laird said.

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