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Gala night helps fund local organizations
Top selling tree brings in $10,000 for Area Coordinating Council
Holiday cheer and goodwill were alive and well at the annual Christmas Tree Auction at River Island Country Club on Saturday.
Hosted for the second straight year by the Porterville Sheltered Workshop and its foundation, the annual Night of Wonder featured seven uniquely decorated trees in the auction.
“It helps the community and raises funds for the community,” said Laurie Pugh of the PSW.
The proceeds go to the respective organizations that sponsored a tree — Sierra View District Hospital Foundation, Special Friend’s Day-Porterville Fair, the Family Crisis Center, the Porterville Area Coordinating Council, the Giant Sequoia National Monument Association, Porterville Breakfast Rotary and the Burton School District Foundation.
The top seller of the night was the Porterville Area Coordinating Council tree, which featured red ribbons and gold and white angel ornaments. It sold for $10,000.
The Giant Sequoia Monument Association’s tree had messages of hope, belief and love. It was decorated with sugar pine and giant sequoia pine cones, as well asgiant sequoia seeds.
To complete the look, pictures of scenes like the White Barn were added.
The event also included a silent auction tree auction, which was won by Lynn Lassotovich of Valley Cleaning and Restoration.
“I’m going to put the tree in the foyer at the office to get the employees in the spirit,” said Lassotovich of the candy cane inspired tree, decked out with red and white stripped ornaments and a whimsical bow.
At the end of the night, a guitar signed by famous musicians, such as Willie Nelson, Shania Twain and Garth Brooks, was raffled off. A tree resale also took place.
Porterville Mayor Virginia Gurrola was pleased.
“It’s a good benefit for the community. Everybody has a good time and everybody spends money,” said Gurrola, who bought the Porterville Breakfast Rotary tree.
First-time attendee Richard Tipton of Hanford agreed.
“It’s fun and it’s very charitable,” said Tipton.