Familiar red Christmas trees are starting to appear on street light poles along Main Street and Highway #12 in Steinbach. They are part of the Bethesda Foundation's Gifts of Light campaign. Spokesperson John Peters says people can sponsor a small red tree or there are higher levels of sponsorship to light up evergreen trees in and around the Bethesda Regional Health Centre and Personal Care Home for Christmas.
"It's our biggest fundraising event of the year and it's been going on for many years now. Every year it seems to get people involved and get them excited about Christmas and, more importantly, helping out with health care in the region."
It costs $100 to sponsor one of the small red trees. Sponsorship of the trees at the hospital ranges from $500 to $2,500.
Peters explains how they use the money.
"We have a number of large projects. I think you're probably aware we just constructed a Primary Care Centre in Steinbach, we're looking at adding more personal care beds in the community, in partnership with other people, and the money we raise with the Gifts of Light, helps us makes those projects become a reality."
Peters adds donors to the campaign receive a charitable receipt.