The snowy weather didn’t stop attendees from dressing up, stepping out and stepping up for this year’s Festival of Trees fundraiser.

Hosted by the Williston Community Builders and Busy Bee’s Hot Oil, the annual gala transformed the Williston ARC into a wintery forest of glitter and greenery. The auction is the Community Builders main fundraiser of the year, with the organization donating those dollars back to community organizations and non-profits. This year, however, the Builders have chosen a special project to donate the majority of those funds to — the community outdoor pool. This year’s auction was another rousing success, bringing in more than $200,000 for the pool project.

Over 25 live trees were donated for the auction, and sponsored by various businesses, organizations and individuals in the community. Each tree was decorated from top to bottom in hundreds, even thousands of dollars worth of ornaments and goodies. Each tree had a specific theme, including hunting, camping, gaming, traveling and even unicorns.

Under each tree was a plethora of “presents”, with items such as gaming systems, hot tubs, ice houses and vacation getaways. The trees, themselves worth thousands of dollars, are then auctioned off to the highest bidder. This year, no tree went for less than $1,500, and some garnered more than $20,000. While the majority of the funds will go towards the pool project, several other causes will benefit from this year’s most successful event.

“The 2021 7th Annual Festival of Trees was a huge success. Thanks to our sponsors and bidders and the wonderful community that we live in we were able to bring in more than we ever have before!” Said Amanda Colebank, Williston Community Builders Treasurer said. “It was our biggest year yet and we are so grateful for all of the support. This year our main beneficiary will be the Willison Outdoor Pool Project. We are also donating the proceeds from the Williston Community Builder Tree and silent auction to families recently affected by tragedy. The families of Stephanie Lee and Amaya, Bailey Mann and Heidi Koivisto are our chosen beneficiaries. The proceeds from the wreaths will go to the Family Crisis Shelter. Also, half of the proceeds from Onecor’s Tree will be donated to the #FinnsArmy campaign.”

Learn more about the Williston Community Builders at www.communitybuildersnd.com/.

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