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‘Festival of Trees’ returns to Helena with no restrictions

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Helena, Montana – For the first time since 2019, Intermountain’s “Festival of Trees” will return to its full extent as it enters its 35th year.

Beth Wheeler, Intermountain’s director of special events, said this year could shatter all previous attendance records. In recent years, Intermountain offered variations of the long-running event where the public could still participate.

“The community was still generous, and they still participated, but of course, it was on a scaled-back capacity. So, this is our first year of being fully back, our performers are back in the auditorium, we’ve got performances all day long, Saturday and Sunday,” said Wheeler as volunteers set up displays all around the Helena Civic Center.

“The amount of public that has donated small trees and wreaths is through the roof. We’re almost at a record year. We have over 100 small trees upstairs on silent auction, and so many people involved and excited to be back in the ballroom together,” Wheeler continued.

Because they support Intermountain’s goal of offering mental and behavioral healthcare to kids and families across Montana, several volunteers have been giving their time and effort to this event for years or even decades.

“I really believe in the mission of Intermountain. Helping the kids and the families that Intermountain serves is really precious to my heart,” said Emily Hankins. “I was a teacher for over 15 years and I see the good that it does in the community.”

Christmas Bells and Seashells is the theme for this year’s Festival of Trees, but there are also many smaller donations that can be donated to support Intermountain in achieving its objectives.

“Online they can watch all week long, the silent auction items from upstairs, that’s certainly a way. We also have a giving tree on the ballroom floor and it is full of tags, of wishes of the kids and the staff of Intermountain. Things that are needed to run the programs and the kids’ wishes, also. Those go all the way down to $5 or $10, and every dollar that comes to us goes back to the kids and it helps meet their needs on any level,” said Wheeler.

The Festival of Trees this year kicks off on November 30 with Tea in the Trees and ends on Sunday, December 4 with Family Fun Days.

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