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A staple of the holiday season in Edmonton since 1985, the University Hospital Foundation’s Festival of Trees is back with more events and experiences than ever to spread cheer while fundraising in support of neuro rehabilitation at the University of Alberta Hospital.
The expanded Festival of Trees now features events at various venues throughout Edmonton, as well as online experiences, to allow for better accessibility for festival goers.
In addition to long-standing popular events and experiences such the Gala & Auction, Silver Bell Soiree, Santa’s Breakfast, Festival in a Box and the Online 50/50 Draw, the Festival of Trees will also include the brand new Winter Wonderland Holiday Market at RE/MAX Field.
“We have really expanded to include more events and online experiences than we’ve ever had in previous years and the events are spread out across several venues throughout Edmonton,” explains Alisha Wheeler, Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the University Hospital Foundation.
“Previously people were used to one weekend at the Edmonton Convention Centre, but this year we have decided to offer a number of different events people can participate in, so we’re really focusing on making it more accessible throughout the community.”
Over the past 35 years, the Festival of Trees has raised over $23M for critically important causes at the University of Alberta Hospital and throughout the community. This year’s cause is neuro rehabilitation, with proceeds from the 2022 Festival of Trees supporting the creation of a new, state-of-the-art Neuro Rehabilitation Innovation Centre at the University of Alberta Hospital.
The centre will provide neurologic patients with the timely and advanced neuro rehabilitation. Currently, patients who are admitted to the University of Alberta Hospital with neurologic illness and injuries can wait 15-25 days before being transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation facility.
“It’s critical for people who do experience brain and spinal cord injuries to get the rehabilitation that they need as quickly as possible because that’s a really critical step in their recovery,” Wheeler says. “The quicker they get that rehabilitation the better chance they have at a full recovery, so having that centre at the U of A Hospital would help significantly.”