Generosity and grandeur will combine when the Visalia Chamber of Commerce presents “Babes in Toyland” – the 34th Annual Christmas Tree Auction – set to kick off Friday, December 12, at the Visalia Convention Center.
The chamber’s Annual Christmas Tree Auction has become a local Holiday tradition. Each year, more than 900 people dress up in their finest holiday party clothes and kick off the season with a giving spirit. The Christmas Tree Auction is the only formal event open to the public in the city and features a sit-down dinner, dancing, entertainment and wine tasting.
The Christmas Tree Auction raises awareness and donations for local non-profit organizations. More than $4 million has been raised for local charities in the last 30+ years. Last year’s event alone brought in nearly $200,000 in donations. For participating non-profits, this is the primary fundraising mechanism, underscoring the significance of this annual event, and its impact on the budgets of local non-profit organizations.
“Kaweah Delta Hospice Foundation is once again excited to participate in the auction,” said Barbara Mayeda, chairman of the Christmas Tree Auction committee. “Kaweah Delta Hospice Foundation uses the Christmas Tree Auction as its major fundraiser for the year. The chamber-hosted event saves us the time and labor of doing our own event, so that we are able to concentrate our efforts on getting our donors to donate.”
This year, attendees have the choice to attend the Christmas Tree Auction on a general admission ticket or as VIP guest. General admission includes: wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres, silent auction dessert and dancing. The VIP ticket includes: a sit-down dinner, Live Christmas Tree Auction, wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres, silent auction, dessert and dancing. General admission tickets are $65 (7:30-11:30pm) while VIP tickets are $135 (5:30-11:30 pm). Tickets may be purchased at the Visalia Chamber of Commerce: 220 N. Santa Fe St, 734-5876 or at www.visaliachamber.org
Volunteers are preparing to decorate more than 13 live Christmas trees to be auctioned off as well as silent auction items for the benefit of the following local charities: CASA of Tulare County, Community Educational Broadcasting, Daughters of Hope, Family Services of Tulare County, Golden State Family Services, International Agri-Center, Kaweah Delta Foundation LifeLine, Kaweah Delta Hospice Foundation, Love In the Name of Christ, Mt. Whitney Jazz Band Boosters, NAMI, Redwood High School Mock Trial, Samaritan Center Clinic, Sisterhood of Grace, Spirit 88.9, United Way of Tulare County, Valley Life Foundation, Visalia Education Foundation andVisalia Rescue Mission.
This year, the Community Giving Tree sponsored by Groppetti Automotive will return as another opportunity for attendees to help a local non-profit. Attendees may purchase tickets to win the giving tree leading up to the evening of the auction. At the end of the evening one ticket will be chosen and the winning individual will have the opportunity to donate all of the ticket proceeds from the Giving Tree to a local charity of their choosing.
Sponsorship opportunities for the Christmas Tree Auction are available for interested businesses. Call the chamber at 734-5876 for details.