November came to an inspiring close with a record $1.57 million raised at the annual Providence O’Christmas Trees Gala Dinner & Auction. The proceeds benefit the 23,000 individuals served every day by Providence hospice, healthcare, assisted living, housing, home services and home infusion and pharmacy services. The sold-out event brought together 850 guests, including business leaders, activists, artists and designers from around the region.
For those not familiar with the gala, in brief: Local businesses sponsor the creation of a unique Christmas tree, conceived and decorated by a local designer. The trees are the center of attention for three days of celebration, culminating with the gala, where they are sold in a live auction. There were 15 trees this year, as well as 15 other big-ticket items, such as international trips and an adorable Shih-Tzu puppy.
This year, the top-selling tree was titled O’Holy Night Cantique de Noel, a white flocked Northwest alpine adorned with hand-blown glass ornaments. It went for $50,000 to Majdi and Dana Daher and David and Sandy Sabey, who donated it and its accompanying contemporary Nativity display to the community of Providence Mount St. Vincent.
Many of this year’s gorgeous trees have been donated by the auction winners to hospitals around Seattle. The Northwest Outdoor Adventures tree purchased by Matthew Kaplan is now at Providence Marianwood. Rod and Nancy Hochman purchased the Santa Claus is Coming to Town tree for Seattle Children’s Hospital, and the Christmas Tea for Teddy tree was purchased and donated to Harborview Medical Center by Pemco Insurance.
This was the 32nd year of the O’Christmas Trees Gala and was co-chaired by Dana and Majdi Daher, founder and chief executive of presenting sponsor Denali Advanced Integration. Daher’s gift of $25,000 kicked off the fundraising push for the Chuck Hawley Wonderful Life Fund program, supporting programs that go beyond traditional care at Providence Senior and Community Services. The master of ceremonies for the 14th year running was retired KING-TV anchorman Dennis Bounds.
Executive Director of Providence Senior and Community Special Events, Patricia Szabo, called the evening a tremendous success, crediting everyone involved with the record-breaking total. The donations are still coming in, and every bit helps in supporting Providence, now celebrating its 160th year of serving the poor.
Those who want to party for Providence needn’t wait until next year. There are a range of events that lead up to the big gala, including a wine procurement party, cocktail contest and black tie bingo. Those dates will be announced in the coming weeks through Providence’s social media and newsletters. (You can, however, go ahead and save the date for the next gala on Wednesday, November 29, 2017.) If you follow Providence on Facebook, you’ll also find exclusive bracelets by Bourbon and Boweties, the sale of which also supports Providence’s programs.