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Festival of Trees lights up weekend

Christine Grimard
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 08/06) - This weekend, Festival of Trees organizers hope to beat last year's fundraising record of $200,000.

"I hate to give a number in case we don't reach it," said Linda Bussey, executive director of the Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation.

"My only goal is to exceed whatever we raised last year."

Bussey said that so far, prospects of beating last year's record are looking good.

The 16 trees up for auction should prove attractive to bidders, considering some of the trimmings include flat-screen televisions.

Ask Bussey what's her favourite part of the event and she'll answer "Sunday night," referring to the vast amount of work the event takes.

After the gala and auction on Friday night, Saturday's family events include a pancake breakfast and the Skookum Circus.

Friday night's auction will include a chest of drawers handpainted by Yellowknife artist Terry Pamplin.

Last year one of Pamplin's pieces sold for $10,000, something he said is good for an artist's self-esteem.

"It's such a huge stroke for the big ego," said Pamplin. "You tell yourself, 'wow, people love this stuff.'"

The chest of drawers up for bids this year is titled "In Rose's Garden XII," and depicts flowers from his partner's garden.

In addition to the piece, the high bidder will also receive a set of gift cards printed with pictures of the flowers that inspired the piece.