Hayden Christmas Tree Auction helps community groups | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden Christmas Tree Auction helps community groups

Mike McCollum

Steamboat Springs — Hayden's Girl Scout Troop 217 had a good start to the holiday season Saturday as their Colorado Rockies-inspired Christmas tree pulled in $125 at the 19th annual Hayden Christmas Tree Auction. — Hayden's Girl Scout Troop 217 had a good start to the holiday season Saturday as their Colorado Rockies-inspired Christmas tree pulled in $125 at the 19th annual Hayden Christmas Tree Auction.

— Hayden’s Girl Scout Troop 217 had a good start to the holiday season Saturday as their Colorado Rockies-inspired Christmas tree pulled in $125 at the 19th annual Hayden Christmas Tree Auction.

The Brownies were one of more than a dozen community organizations that donated carefully crafted Christmas trees, wreaths and centerpieces for auction. Event organizer Laurie Hallenbeck said the auction raised more than $5,000 last year.

Scout leader Sandy Messing said the troop’s goal was to raise a few hundred dollars.

“We are raising money to send the girls on a trip at the end of the year,” Messing said. “We hope to let them do something that they can’t get to do around here, like go to the zoo.”

The Brownies auctioned a second tree, but the baseball-themed Christmas tree – adorned with baseball ornaments, white bows, along with purple and white lights – was the most special.

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“The girls actually pulled the design from a list of possible designs, but this creation is all them,” she said. “They just went all out with it.”

After the troop introduced themselves and the concept of their tree to the 100 or so Christmas enthusiasts who filled the Exhibition Hall at the Routt County Fairgrounds,

“How much money do you think we should get, girls?” asked auctioneer Ken Kawcak.

“500,” one Brownie enthusiastically replied.

The First National Bank of the Rockies subsequently purchased the tree.

Other participating organizations included Cub Scouts, Hayden Heritage Center, Love INC of the Yampa Valley, Hayden High School cheerleading squad, and the Future Business Leaders of America.

Like many of the organizations, a group of students looking to raise funds for a trip to Crow Canyon to study archeological research had multiple submissions.

With the goal to fund their five-day trip to Mesa Verde, the students auctioned a tree, wreath and centerpiece. The tree, decorated with intricately crafted cornhusk dolls, sold for $200.

“It’s such a beautiful tree,” Hallenbeck said.

“Come on people, pony up. It’s only money,” Kawcak told the crowd.

The event almost didn’t come to fruition for a 19th year after the Hayden Museum Board announced earlier this year that it couldn’t continue to organize it. But a group of Hayden women took the reins and made sure the event didn’t fade away.

“This is our first year holding the event, but we hope to carry this tradition forward,” said event organizer Sue Fulton. “100 percent of these proceeds to go the participating organizations and it just means so much to them.”

– To reach Mike McCollum, call 871-4208

or e-mail mmccollum@steamboatpilot.com

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