Aberdeen Yelduz Shriners host first ‘Feztival of Trees’ fundraiser

The Aberdeen Yelduz Shriners are branching out with a new holiday fundraiser called the Feztival of Trees.
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 4:03 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Aberdeen Yelduz Shriners are branching out with a new holiday fundraiser called the Feztival of Trees.

”We do fundraisers all year long, but this is a big one. It’s the first one, so it’s kind of exciting. We turned the Shrine Center into a winter wonderland,” said Steve Gehring, Potentate of Yelduz in Aberdeen.

That winter wonderland consists of decorated Christmas trees sponsored by local businesses. Attendees can purchase raffle tickets for $1 each, or 30 for $20, and put them into the raffle box for any of the 39 trees they’d like to win.

Committee members were overwhelmed with the support from local businesses for a first-time event.

”39 is an amazing number for the first year. We are so thankful for our community support and that they’ve come together people to just help our cause,” said committee member Luanne Cunningham.

Each tree has its own unique theme and some even come with gifts.

“Each of our 39 trees all have their own theme that the businesses either came up with or for some of the businesses, they actually allowed us to follow a theme of our own. Some trees, like one of our grocery stores here in town donated a tree with over $1,500 worth of gift certificates on it,” said Cunningham.

The Yelduz Shriners chose a raffle instead of an auction to make the event affordable for everyone.

“We wanted it to be accessible to everybody in the community, so not to auction off trees. We want everybody to be able to purchase just one dollar for a raffle ticket so you were able to donate to a cause that’s near and dear to everybody’s hearts here at the Yelduz Shrine, and your one dollar might get you a $1,000 tree,” said Cunningham.

Each night of the Feztival of Trees will also have entertainment or special guests. The Aberdeen Wings hockey team stopped by on Monday. The Boys and Girls Club will be singing carols on Tuesday evening.

”Wednesday night, we have Ron Parker and his Christmas friends. They’re going to be doing some Christmas caroling. Thursday night, we have the police department and the Aberdeen firefighters,” said committee member Renee Jarvis.

The money raised from the event will go toward the work the Yelduz Shriners do in the Aberdeen community.

”We support hundreds of local patients in our surrounding area with just this local Yelduz Shrine. The money from this fundraiser is all going to stay for our local shrine, and it’s going to help with a transportation fund to help pay for those patients to get back and forth to appointments,” said Cunningham.

The fundraiser is open to the public from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. The raffle tickets for each of the trees will be drawn at the end of the event on Saturday evening.