BASS LAKE — Here’s a shocker! The holiday season is almost here. With it comes a host of activities in and around Oakhurst and Bass Lake. At top of the list — or close to it — is the annual Christmas Tree Auction, which goes live and in-person again this year after a virtual event in 2020.
The Lakeview Room of The Pines Resort sets the scene on Friday, December 3. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for cocktail hour, with dinner served at 6:30 p.m. The live auction starts at 8 p.m. Melanie Barker of Gemini Real Estate Group will emcee the festivities.
The first auction took place in that turn-of-the-millennium year, 2000, and has marched forward ever since. Back in the day, Archie Macaulay was the president of the Boys & Girls Club, and the list of tree auction committee members that year reads like a Who’s Who of Oakhurst: Sherry Colgate, Donna Davis, Betty Linn, Susan Macaulay, Maureen Otterson, Rhonda Salisbury and Donna Smith. This year’s committee includes Melanie Barker, Laura Norman, Christy Smith, Donna Smith, Jessica Steele, and Jessica Trettin,
A major annual fundraiser for primary beneficiary Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst, other non-profits benefit, as well, from tree purchases and proceeds of smaller items donated for silent auctions. Past recipients have included American Cancer Society, Manna House, Oakhurst Sierra Rotary Club Santa Program, Helping Hands, Oakhurst Lutheran Community Children’s Ministries, Coarsegold School, Rivergold School, Soroptimist International of the Sierras, Yosemite High School Scholarship Fund, and more.
Non-profit organizations submit applications to donate and decorate trees. Although this year’s entries are full at eighteen live auction items, applications generally go out midyear, so watch the Oakhurst Christmas Tree Auction Facebook page for information on signing up for the 2022 event. You can also email the committee at mailto:TreeAuctionCommittee@gmail.com.
The only cost to enter a tree (full-size or table-top, live or artificial) is the cost of the tree and its decorations. The organization’s creativity and imagination are the only limits to the offerings. The more inventive, the more money the tree may garner at auction time. To date the highest tree sale of $6,500 took place in 2018 for a full-size entry.
Each non-profit organization decorates its tree during the period of Nov. 30 through Dec. 2, and often the decorating is as much fun as auction night itself.
So you want to save the time, effort and creativity to put together your own tree? Step right up. Buy a pre-decorated item and donate to Boys & Girls Club at the same time. Tickets go on sale Nov. 1, via EventBrite. The individual price is $65 per person, and an eight-guest table can be sponsored for $750. To reserve a ticket or table, contact TreeAuctionCommittee@gmail.com. Anyone who buys a ticket and attends can participate. Registration is a part of the check-in process, and registrars will request some personal & payment information, after which you’ll receive an auction card. Winning bids must be paid that evening, and trees must be claimed by Dec. 4.
Dress to impress for the evening which includes a four-course dinner catered through Ducey’s on the Lake with passed appetizers, an organic dinner salad, four-ounce filet mignon, garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal baby vegetables along with a season dessert. Vegetarian and vegan options are available by preorder to TreeAuctionCommittee@gmail.com after ticket purchase.
But wait! Attendees can complete even more of their holiday shopping (for themselves, family or friends) with items donated for the full raffle or silent auction by local businesses. In the past these have included teeth whitening, signed sports memorabilia, spa day packages and high-end purses. For this year’s raffle and silent auction, the committee welcomes additional donations. Contact TreeAuctionCommittee@gmail.com for more information or to offer a donation.
Photos courtesy of Jessica Trettin and the Oakhurst Community Christmas Tree Auction Committee.