A little tree brings big bucks to Wyoming charity

Many Christmas trees look beautiful, but not many can bring in $3,500.

A team of employees at Dry Fork Station near Gillette, Wyoming, entered a decorated tree into the Festival of Trees, hosted by the Northeast Wyoming (NEW) Community Health Foundation. The tree was entered into the live auction among 61 other trees and wreaths, and was sold for $3,500.

“There are three categories you can enter, and we entered the Elf Category this year and last,” says Ashley Fraser, senior safety coordinator. “We placed 2nd in Judges’ Choice this year.”

The tree was decorated by Fraser along with Jean Mortson, Dry Fork Station administrative assistant II, and Katie Sanders, Dry Fork Station electrical engineer III.

“We set up in a conference room and worked on it when we had time. We set up some scheduled times, and the whole tree took six hours including conception, shopping, and decorating,” Fraser says.

This is the 30th year of the Festival of Trees, and this year nearly $400,000 was raised between the live auction (which alone raised $286,000), sponsorships, and raffle. NEW Community Health uses the funds to improve health and wellness in the community through a number of programs.

“We participated in this event because we wanted to support the Foundation, and giving back to the community is something we take pride in,” Fraser says. “The Festival of Trees is a great event for the whole family and starts the season off with giving and sharing the joy of Christmas."

Basin Electric's tree was entered in the Elf Category and given second place in Judges' Choice.

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