3rd Annual Festival of Trees Goes Virtual This Year

This year is the third year of United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties' Annual Festival of Trees. This year, it's all happening online.

Nothing says happy holidays like Christmas trees and giving.

The gala and dinner auction event has turned into a virtual auction for not just trees, but also wreaths, baskets, and more.

The Festival of Trees helps raise funds to fight hunger and help those experiencing homelessness in Benton and Franklin counties.

Maryanne Wuennecke is the Marketing and Communications Manager for United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties.

"The first year we did this, our inaugural event in 2018, we raised over 60,000 dollars to give back to the community and last year's event raised just over 93,000 dollars so it really brings more that we can give back to help the people who are really facing challenges right now," said Wuennecke.

Businesses from all over the Tri-Cities sponsor trees and other items that are available to bid on.

"It's just a great way for people to get involved in the community and give back and help. Because hunger and homelessness in our community was already a challenge that we were trying to address before the pandemic hit, and with the effect of COVID-19, the demand has only gotten bigger," said Wuennecke.

And with a festive flair, United Way is excited to make a difference and maybe even take it a step further.

"All the proceeds that we raise will be eligible for matching funds from all in Washington, which is a statewide movement to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. So everything we make on this event, we can submit, and if we get the matching funds back that's twice the impact," said Wuennecke.

The festival of trees virtual event will be on Saturday, November 21st.

For more information on bidding, tickets, or the event, visit their registration or online bidding page.