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Celebration of Trees auction benefits Albany B&G Club

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Bidding is underway in the Boys & Girls Club of Albany fundraiser auction, the Celebration of Trees. This year’s event is a hybrid, with opportunities to bid online in a silent auction and a limited in-person live auction.

“Every year since I got here, it’s gotten bigger,” Executive Director John Andersen said. “Trees go anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000. A couple years ago we had a tree that went for $9,500.”

The event is an annual fundraiser for the Albany club, which receives all the proceeds. Local sponsors decorate 35 trees, often with extra prizes such as vacation trips or barbecue grills, for auction. The sponsors take on all the costs.

The benefit is significant, bringing in more than $200,000 in a normal year, according to Andersen.

Kathy Ballweber's Victorian Village is one of the many Christmas Storybook Land displays. The event runs from Dec. 3 to Dec. 17 at the Linn County Expo Center.

The sponsors also benefit from the team building experience of preparing and showcasing their trees in a friendly and holiday-spirited competition. When you calculate for the bonus goodies under the tree, there’s typically around $500-$1,000 invested in each.

“They’re working together to put a beautiful tree together that will be bought at a higher value,” Andersen said. “And there’s a camaraderie between the businesses because they know that it’s going to benefit the club even more.”

Community night is from 3 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30. Take a free self-guided tour of the trees, vote on your favorite, and enjoy holiday music.

The silent online auction opened Monday morning and runs until 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2. The live auction takes place the same day, with club doors open at 5:30 p.m. and auction at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are required in advance and can be purchased for $50 at events@bgc-albany.org, ages 21 and older only.

There will be a buffet dinner and cash/card bar. Holiday or business attire is acceptable. Masks are required. There are two raffles to play this year. One is for a chance to win a decorated Christmas tree delivered to your home. The second is for a diamond necklace from Jordan Jewelers.

Cody Mann covers the cities of Albany and Lebanon. He can be contacted at 541-812-6113 or Cody.Mann@lee.net.

“They’re working together to put a beautiful tree together that will be bought at a higher value, and there’s a camaraderie between the businesses because they know that it’s going to benefit the club even more.” ~John Anderson, Albany Boys & Girl Club

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