Portland, OR. The numbers are in and the 2017 Safeway/Providence Festival of Trees, public show and Gala dinner raised a record $1.4 million for Providence Children’s Health and family support services. Bob and Sharon Miller join friends and family at the November 31st gala which drew over 900 people. The public viewing of the trees took place December 1st and 2nd at Oregon Convention Center. Organizers say miles of twinkling lights, thousands of ornaments and even the fragrance of Christmas itself made the 35th anniversary of the festival a magical event.
13-year-old Bobbi MacKenzie opens the Gala dinner by singing “Oh Holy Night” a cappela.
Providence Oregon chief executive Dave Underriner and Providence Foundations of Oregon president and chief development officer Laurie Kelley welcome more than 900 guests to the Gala.
Nancy Lematta, center, leads a group of friends in celebrating the festival of trees.
Joey Harrington poses for a photograph with an Oregon Ducks fan in the midst of the Gala.
Organizers report that the holiday tradition dazzled people of all ages with its exquisite trees, mini-trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses, Lego displays and more. Over the last 34 years, the festival has raised more than $16 million. Those funds support Providence Children’s Health programs including Child Life Specialists, NICU Parent Liaisons, Swindells Resource Center and My Little Waiting Room.
Here are some photos of the those famous trees:
Letters to Santa – Sponsor: iHeart Media. Designers: Sandy Miller, Shelly Hamann, Mark Johnson, family and friends
Take Me Back in Time – Sponsor: Providence Hospice Designers: Jacquelyn Dunn, Kate Gober, Shawn Dunn and Judy Mimnaugh
A Coastal Christmas – Sponsor: Howard S. Wright, a Balfour Beatty Company Designers: Sarah Kennison, Danielle Smeraglio, Sue Jarmin and Kim Jarmin
Rose All the Way Sponsor: Providence Health Plan. Designers: Ronni Nichuals, Stacy Ryback, Velma Rodriguez, Tiah Kershaw, Erica Brill and Mary Nichols
Christmas in Rip City – Sponsor: Portland Trail Blazers Designers: Sandy Miller, Leslie Radke, Carol Nielson and Judy Han
Through a Child’s Eyes – Sponsor: Providence Portland Medical Center professional staff Designers: Leilani Wilson, Raji Chandrasekaran, Christine Riley, Karen Thiel, Nicholetta Vlandis and Elizabeth Wakeman
Have a Merry Elfin’ Christmas – Sponsor: Providence Medical Group Designers: Dominique Buhl, Damala Badon, Robin Birge, Amy Brittan and Min Stearns
This is a year-long, volunteer-driven project with nearly 75 professional and amateur designers volunteering thousands of hours to turn a corner of the Oregon Convention Center into a winter wonderland and holiday village. Nearly 20,000 people were expected to experience the 2017 festive gathering with 75 trees of all sizes decorated with nearly 100,000 twinkling lights. More than 600,000 people have attended the festival since it began in 1983. Safeway was the sponsor this year.
Here’s a time lapse video of the setup of the
The Festival of the Trees benefits these Family Support Services:
Providence cares for more than 100,000 Oregon children each year, and 1 in 5 children have a special health care need. These critical programs help keep the whole family healthy.
Our Family Support Services
Child Life Program
Imagine a hospital visit through the eyes of a child. Unfamiliar faces and equipment, examinations or tests for them or for a loved one, and scary conversations that they may not understand. Our certified child life specialists at Providence St. Vincent help children of all ages cope with their own or a family member’s illness, injury, treatment, or hospitalization through play, child-friendly explanations, and of course, a teddy bear.
My Little Waiting Room
Founded by mother and cancer survivor Amy Patterson, My Little Waiting Room provides free, fun, and safe drop-in child care for families on the campuses of Providence St. Vincent and Providence Portland Medical Center. Staffed by specially trained care providers and secure, parents can attend appointments or visit a loved one in the hospital knowing their children are in good hands.
NICU Parent Liaison
Spending time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with your baby is rarely a part of a family’s birth plan. Our NICU Parent Liaison provides peer-to-peer informational, emotional, and inspirational support to new parents of premature babies during their stay in the NICU at Providence St. Vincent.
Swindells Resource Center
Learning that your child has special needs, developmental delays or disabilities is life-changing, isolating and scary. Where do I go from here? What do I do next? Swindells Resource Center supports parents and caregivers of these children by providing free resources, information and education to communities throughout Oregon and southwest Washington – last year alone we helped tens of thousands of families throughout the region.
Portland, February 21st, 2013. Supporters marked the 20th anniversary of the Providence Child Center Swindells Resource Center by donating more than $300,000. William Swindells, Jr. and Dick Clark, ED at SPV Foundation had a chance to catch up at the Pure Space event in Northwest, Portland.
Charlie Swindells at the Podium, Bill R. Swindells on right of image.
Children and their families who have used the Swindells Resource Center shared their touching stories during the event, and the Heart of Gold Award was presented to the Swindells family in loving memory of Jean Baton Swindells. The event also included a ceremony and dinner.
Amy Roloff, left, star of TLC’s reality show “Little People, Big World,” poses with Michelle Kennedy and her son, Evan Kennedy at the 2013 Heart of Gold event on Feb. 21. Michelle and Evan use the resources at the Swindells Center and visit Providence Neurodevelopmental Center for Children for speech and other therapies.
Past Heart of Gold award recipients are honored. Eloise Savage represents Providence Child Center Guild, Nancy Lematta, Ann Humberston, Karen Gaffney, Pat Becker, Pat Moss, Bill Schonely and Jim Moss.
Heart of Gold attendees place bids to raise money for the Swindells Resouce Center at Providence Child Center.
William Swindells, Jr.
The Swindells Center at Providence Child Center provides direct support and links to resources for families of children with disabilities in Oregon, including books, parenting groups and classes, speaker events and other materials. Services are offered at the main Portland location of the Swindells Center, as well as satellite sites in Hood River and Medford. All locations will benefit from donations given at Heart of Gold. When Jean Baton Swindells was born with Down syndrome in 1957, her parents, Ann and Bill Swindells Jr., had few places to turn for information, resources or support. After Jean died at the age of 33, the Swindells family provided the financial support to build the Jean Baton Swindells Resource Center. Established at Providence Child Center in 1994, it gives families the information the Swindells did not have when Jean was growing up.
“Jean inspired her parents, Ann and Bill, to provide the resources necessary for families all across Oregon to help their special needs children reach their fullest potential,” says Karen Santangelo, Providence Child Center Foundation president. “It’s only through community support that this important program is able to touch 12,000 families annually.”
Contributions from the Swindells family to Providence Child Center over the years have connected thousands of families, educators, providers and caregivers throughout Oregon with resources at little or no cost. The center has helped children regardless of age, language or diagnosis. Proceeds from the 2013 Heart of Gold event will support the ongoing work of Swindells Resource Center and provide support and resources for future generations of children and their families.
The Swindells Center at Providence Child Center provides direct support and links to resources for families of children with disabilities in Oregon, including books, parenting groups and classes, speaker events and other materials. Services are offered at the main Portland location of the Swindells Center, as well as satellite sites in Hood River and Medford.
For more information about the Providence Child Center Foundation, call 503-215-2406.
NONPROFIT BENEFIT TICKET GIVEAWAYS!
Sign up for our free weekly highlights for the chance to win two tickets terrific nonprofit events! If you "like" us on facebook, or sign up for our weekly news highlights, you'll be entered to win! Sign up today!
Look for another ticket giveaway soon! Are you a nonprofit looking to bolster your publicity with facebook and tweets? Email us and we'll run a contest with tickets to your event! [email protected]