Chamber raises over $10,000 at annual Christmas Tree Auction

33_tree-auction_2551HAPPY HOLIDAYS  — On left stands the 3 Rivers Communications wreath that sold for $225 and the 4U Collision tree that sold for $475 at the Christmas Tree Auction on Dec. 2. I-O Photo by Deanna Wakkinen


By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter and Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

A total of 13 trees and 11 wreaths were auctioned off to benefit the Conrad Area Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 2. This annual event was started in 2002, and in the beginning trees went for a mere $35. Last year, one tree alone went for $3,500.

That famous ‘Cancer Tree’, as it came to be known, was introduced last year in a pink and brown fashion and was adorned with gift certificates from area businesses.

This year the ‘Cancer Tree’ was a bit different. Decorated with a stunning white and glitter theme, it came with $2,060 in Chamber Bucks, a bottle of wine and a $100 gift certificate from Conrad Building Center. It was decorated by Conrad Tire, Conrad Building Center and Olson’s Drug.

The money for the Chamber Bucks came from individuals who wished to honor a friend or loved one who is battling or has battled cancer. Honorees had their names put on snowflakes and their names were recited, in a room that suddenly became quiet, before the tree was auctioned off.


As a bonus to the sale of the ‘Cancer Tree’, two thirds of the purchase price will go towards the Community Cancer Foundation. This organization benefits people in Pondera County who are going through treatments for cancer.


The winning bidder of the ‘Cancer Tree’, which will be displayed in Creative Addictions until the New Year, was Wesco Trailer Sales for $3,100. Wesco did not leave with the tree but instead got to take home the Chamber Bucks, gift certificate and the wine.

Another famous tree to the auction is the popular and fashionable tree from A Shear Happiness. This tree came with so much merchandise on it that it needed an entirely separate page just to list it all. The Rock and Roll Cowgirl tree, with $500 worth of merchandise and gift certificates, was admired by all the ladies and three of them rallied together to purchase it for a total of $1,200.

The Pondera Medical Center joined all of its entities together to create a magnificent tree with over $1,300 in merchandise and certificates on it. The tree was purchased for $1,000.

A new element to the Christmas Stroll kept people busy all week long visiting 32 businesses. The Week of Holiday Wonders punch card was available at Chamber businesses and participants needed to visit all 32 businesses listed for their chance to win $100 in Chamber Bucks. Cheryl Judisch was the lucky stroller.

Strollers voted on the best dressed business and Ed’s Tavern was the lucky winner.

The Tavern Association is giving away 43 food baskets to families in need this holiday season and to raise money they were selling tickets for the chance to win big cash prizes. This year’s $600 winner was Kylie Diedrich and the $1,500 winner was Terry Diedrich.

Donna Vaughn sold the most tickets and was the seller of the winning ticket, she was awarded $200.

Before the tree and wreath auction, the Stroll’s opening ceremonies took place at the courthouse steps.

Third grader Tarya Dyer read her winning essay on How I Can Make Christmas Better for Someone Else.

It went like this: How can I make Christmas better for others is take them food. They could enjoy Christmas by coming to my house.

Christmas is about spending time with friends and family and the joy of giving not getting.

Help them decorate their house. We can share Christmas tradition together. Could go around town and go Christmas caroling, and help the kids make an art or craft for their Mom or Dad.

For winning the essay contest she got to help Santa light the traditional Christmas Tree on the foyer of the courthouse. Conrad’s newest pastor, Rev. Timothy Toeset from the Conrad Christian Reformed Church gave the invocation.

A choir group from CHS sang traditional carols and then the large crowd took off to ‘Stroll.’

Upstairs at the library, the room was packed with folks for an annual recital, bargains galore awaited shoppers in the stores, the line grew for the young and some old alike to visit with Santa at Stockman Bank, and for a food donation at the Home Café you received chili and a cinnamon roll to warm you up.

The Conrad Lions Club was once again serving up their famous Whoop-Up burgers out in front of Pure Bliss Cycle. Along with that and drum fires, it was a very popular place to be.

The weather cooperated and Conrad was a super place to be.