Photo by Emily Buss
Gaby Peterson admires one of 63 trees entered into the Winona Health Auxiliary's annual Fantasy of Trees fundraise
Winona Health Fantasy of Trees design winners named
A dazzling display of holiday lights could be seen shining through the tall windows of Winona Health this last week, bringing an early infusion of Christmas spirit to passers-by. Sixty-three ornately decorated trees were on display as part of the annual Winona Health Auxiliary’s Fantasy of Trees fundraiser. The event was relocated from Watkins Manor to the clinic’s lobby this year, and auxiliary committee member Kathy Shustrom said the fundraiser seems to be attracting more buyers, bidders, and submissions.
“We’ve seen some real beauties this year, absolutely wonderful submissions,” Shustrom boasted. “We have more room here to display all the trees, there is better parking, and the event is seen by even more people. Those driving down Highway 61 are able to see the lights. We are more visible this year.”
Wednesday evening, volunteer judges from the community exercised their keen eye for creativity and awarded honors to the top four trees. The highest award, Best in Show, was given to the Winona Health Occupational Health Department for its beautiful nature-inspired tree called “A Walk in the Woods.” Pinecone ornaments, red Cardinals, and miniature white owls grace the tree, and a large Snowy Owl, perched at the top of the tree, looks over the event.
The first place ribbon was awarded to a tree donated by Flowers on Broadway titled “A Snowed-In Christmas.” This tree features small white birds perched on ice-covered branches. Plush balls of white snow are nestled at the tree's base, and a bright red Cardinal sits at the tree’s highest tip.
Second place went to a snow-white tree with a candy cane theme, appropriately named “Candy Cane Tree,” donated by the Winona Health Food and Nutrition Services Department. The eye-catching tree was covered in red and white stripped ribbon and ornaments. One could almost smell the peppermint!
Winona resident and Winona Health Auxiliary volunteer Bonnie Kelly took home the ribbon for third place with her beautifully decorated tree titled “It’s All About the Bling.” It was adorned with elegant gold and silver ornaments. Th tree was wrapped in ribbon with sparkling stars, birds, and ribbon wrapped the tree, and gold-painted branches formed a stylish tree topper.
The Fantasy of Trees event ends today, with bidding closing at 3 p.m. Winners of each tree will be notified once all bids have been submitted. All proceeds from the fundraiser go toward enhancing the healing environment at Winona Health and to health care related scholarships.