BIG RAPIDS, REED CITY -- Holiday trees, wreaths and creative decorations of all types will be on display and up for bids at the annual Festival of Trees fundraiser for Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City hospitals Nov. 6.

Area residents are invited to use their imagination in creating traditional or unique holiday items for the event that will turn the ballroom of the Holiday Inn Big Rapids into a winter wonderland.

"It's always fun to see what items people create," Spectrum Health Foundation board member and event chairperson Jane Torry said. "In addition to beautiful trees and wreaths, last year we had a sled, a birdhouse, a lamppost and a holiday window frame."

Proceeds from this year's event will support Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City hospitals' Community Outreach and Health Education Department.

"The funds will allow us to respond to emerging community health needs," Community Education Manager Scott Lombard said. "We sincerely appreciate everyone's participation and generosity."

Isabella Bank also has donated 4-foot artificial trees and a variety of wreaths for people to decorate. Donors may pick up a bare tree or wreath from Patterson's Flowers in downtown Big Rapids, take the item home and decorate it with materials and ornaments of their choice. Ornaments should be glued, wired or otherwise securely attached to the tree, wreath or item to ensure safe transportation.

Entries confirmed by Oct. 14 will be listed in the catalog of auction items given to bidders.

Other auction items, such as a weekend getaway, sports tickets or a VIP experience, also are welcome as donated auction items. Individuals interested in making an auction item gift may contact Laurie Alighire at (231) 592-4280 for pickup and delivery information.

"We're grateful for the creative and generous people in our community who make this event a success every year," Torry said. "For bidders, it's a wonderful opportunity to get one-of-a-kind items, while supporting the needs of the hospital."

The event will be at the Holiday Inn Big Rapids, 1005 Perry Ave, on Wednesday, Nov. 6, in the University Ballrooms A and B.

A beer, wine and hors d'oeuvre reception will begin at 6 p.m., with a live auction beginning at 7 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online at, by contacting Alighire at (231) 592-4280 or in person at Hinkle-Witbeck Agency, Inc. in Evart and Reed City, and at Patterson's Flowers and Serendipity in Big Rapids.