BLOWING ROCK — In its fifth year, the Western Youth Network’s Festival of Trees raised close to $50,000 and counting — breaking the previous record set in 2018 — during its four-day event at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock from Dec. 5-8.
“A huge ‘thank you’ to our sponsors, designers and generous patrons who helped us raise almost $50,000 for the kids of Western Youth Network,” the nonprofit announced on its website. “It was a beautiful festival and the most successful year yet.”
The Festival of Trees is a four-day event where people can buy and/or bid on more than 75 decorated Christmas trees or wreaths, this year set up in Chetola’s Evergreen Room. The trees and wreaths were fully decorated and thematic in nature. Patrons could go to a website to make a bid or buy it on the spot through one of several onsite portals, manned by WYN volunteers.
WYN Executive Director Jennifer Warren said 100 percent of the merchandise was sold or auctioned off and said it was heartwarming to see the community support the event.
“Every dollar that we raise means we can provide more services for kids,” Warren said on Dec. 10.
“This is worth your time, this is worth your money and effort,” said Kent Tarbutton, co-owner and proprietor of Chetola Resort, at a VIP gala on Dec. 5. “So I ask you to join me in buying a tree tonight and upping these bids ... because what they’ll do with it is further than we ever could do with it.”
The 2018 edition raised more than $46,000, according to previous reporting. Festival of Trees committee member Jenny Koehn said on Dec. 5 that the festival has raised more than $125,000 in its four previous editions combined.