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‘Festival Of Trees’ Goes Virtual For 2020 Amid Pandemic

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Despite the challenges surrounding coronavirus, the Festival of Trees in Salt Lake City is celebrating their 50th anniversary with a virtual event that will raise funds for Intermountain Healthcare’s Primary Children’s Hospital.

Like most other celebrations, they’ve had to make adjustments, but you can still experience the magic of the tradition. Now through Dec. 4, go to makegoodgrow.org to participate and see the trees.

Over the next several weeks, KSL TV will share stories about the people who have decorated and donated some of the trees.

The Myers annual planning always begins with a family meeting.

“Each year, you know, we gather together as a family, and we’ll decide on a theme,” said family matriarch Anna Myers.

The important gathering has become a long-standing family tradition.

“We all kind of brainstorm what we want on the tree,” said Anna Myers.

For 23 years, Christmas has come early at the Myers home.

“Yeah, it starts in, I don’t know, in summertime,” said Alyse Myers. “We start preparing almost when we finish this one.”

They lovingly decorate each tree, only to give it away.

“I just kind of hope and wonder, ‘Who?’ Maybe who this tree is meant for,” said Alyse Myers. “I just hope that this tree is able to bring a little charm to someone else in their home.”

Participation in the annual Festival of Trees began shortly after Alyse was born.

“My daughter was born with a heart defect,” said Alyse’s mom, Anna Myers.

It was a way to give back to a hospital who saved their daughter.

“My life, I think, would be very different if it hadn’t been for such great care at primary children’s hospital,” said Anna Myers. “The nurses, the doctors who work there, they’ve got to be special people.”

Each year they’ve labored tirelessly to create works of art for others.

“I made the dolls and I made the quilt, but there’s been years where we make a lot of the ornaments,” Anna Myers said of her tree.

She said the family dedicated their time, money and talents to a cause they believe in.

“My family used to have a little plaque that showed you know a picture of me and my little story,” said Alyse Myers. ”As I got older, and as we kept doing this, it became a little bit less and less about me, and more and more about just giving to these people.”

Amid the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, they think it’s even more important.

“We still definitely believe in Primary (Children’s). We still believe in the Festival of Trees and wanted to keep it going because we think it’s so important,” said Anna Myers.

“It’s something that my family cares a lot about,” said Alyse Myers. “I definitely hope that people are still willing and able to participate in the Festival of Trees this year, despite the limitations.”

Proceeds from the festival serve the nearly 100,000 patients from across the Intermountain West the hospital treats each year.

Since its inception, the festival has raised nearly $40 million for the hospital, highlighting the true power of the event and the generosity of the community.

KSL 5 TV Live

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