VISALIA – The Christmas wishes of 29 local charities and non-profit organizations were granted, with more than $180,000 in donations raised at the 33rd annual Christmas Tree Auction held December 6 2013 at the Visalia Convention Center. The spirit of the Giving Tree theme was evident as close to 1,000 guests attended the event aimed at raising much-needed funds for local charities.
After 33 years of raising funds for local charities, the Christmas Tree Auction has become a legacy in Visalia as non-profits use this black-tie celebration to advance their mission through the donations they receive and awareness they generate. For many, this event one of the primary fundraisers they rely on to keep their operations running throughout the year.
On behalf of the non-profits involved, the Chamber wishes to thank the community and those donors who dug deep and found ways to impact the lives of many individuals in powerful, positive ways. Visalia’s legacy of generosity has restored our faith in the community’s ability to come together and overcome.
These organizations benefited the most this holiday season:
Visalia Rescue Mission raised the most funds with their live auction tree, totaling $62,000.
The highest-selling silent auction item went for $925 benefiting Jeff Barnes Brain Injury Foundation, and the most profitable silent trees brought in $1,000 each for Habitat for Humanity of Tulare County and Kaweah Delta Hospice Foundation.
Attendance at the Christmas Tree Auction was very strong this year with 500 people attending the VIP dinner and an additional 500 joining the general admission party.
New this year to the Auction was the inclusion of The Groppetti Automotive Family Giving Tree, a sponsored tree which was raffled off, with individuals purchasing tickets for a chance to take the tree home and direct the proceeds to the charity of their choice. The Giving Tree raised approximately $4,500 in proceeds, which the winning ticket holder donated to Court Appointed Special Advocates of Tulare County.