Mercy Foundation will host the 25th annual Festival of Trees beginning Thursday at the Seven Feathers Casino and Resort in Canyonville.

The Festival features designed Christmas trees ranging from elegant to fun. The trees include value-added items such as vacations, gifts and jewelry and will be auctioned off during the gala evening Saturday.

This year’s theme will feature a New York City Christmas. To that end, there will be a “Christmas in New York City” tree that will be donated to the State Department of Human Services for foster families.

Seventeen other trees decorated by local volunteers will be auctioned off at the event.

Proceeds from the four-day event support children’s healthcare programs and services of not only the Foundation, but also local supporting partners.

“The money supports the Healthy Kids Outreach Program, which provides nursing, and the dental program,” said Mercy Foundation Development Assistant Jamie McElmurry. “We do special cause trees like for the Learning Child, we provide school supplies, backpacks, and hygiene products for the schools.”

The festival features Peyton Burnett, a past and present youth ambassador. Thanks in part to support from Mercy Foundation, she will be graduating from Roseburg High School in June 2019. McElmurry says she is truly a success story.

“She was about 4 years old when we started helping her over the years with travel and medical care that she had to receive outside of the county, and now here she is graduating from Roseburg High next June,” McElmurry said.

This year’s lineup of events includes the Silver Bell Luncheon on Thursday morning, with a large silent auction and a small live auction. It is open to anyone, but reservations are required.

A Home for the Holidays, a Christmas party for foster children, is a partnership with the State Department of Human Services to recognize the foster families and the children they care for in Douglas County. They are provided with dinner, a story time, pictures with Santa, and each child gets a gift.

Senior Day caters to senior citizens, but is open to the public. It provides resources for seniors and will feature entertainment throughout the day.

The Healthy Family’s Christmas Vacation Family Day on Sunday wraps up the four-day event.

Festival of Trees has raised more than $7.5 million in the quarter of a century it has been in existence, all of which has been used to support Douglas County children and families with challenging healthcare needs.

“We are so excited to be able to give back to the community,” McElmurry said. “We couldn’t do it without the support of our community, and it is a fantastic experience with beautiful trees, great designers, and the money goes for a great cause.”

At the same time, Mercy Foundation is celebrating its 45th anniversary. The foundation was established to meet the future healthcare needs of medically fragile residents, with an emphasis on serving children.

The presenting sponsors this year are Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe on Indians, Seven Feathers Casino Resort and TMS Call Center.

Information/Tickets: www.mercygiving.org or call Mercy Foundation at 541-677-4818.

Reporter Dan Bain can be reached at 541-957-4221 or e-mail at dbain@nrtoday.com.

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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