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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Rogue Winterfest 2013 in Grants Pass, Oregon.....A Mindful Community

Recently I had the privilege of attending the "set-up session" for ROGUE WINTERFEST located in Grants Pass, Oregon.  This is Josephine County's largest holiday festival and is held every year at Evergreen Federal Bank's Bear Hotel. Each year, this incredible event brings our community together to help support our Rogue Valley's mental health organizations, specifically FAMILY SOLUTIONSKAIROS  AND OPTIONS FOR SOUTHERN OREGON.

Rogue Winterfest hosts the popular Gala Event and Grand Auction featuring a breathtaking selection of uniquely decorated trees, artwork and other outdoor displays.  In addition, family activites take place during the Weekend Holiday Event followed up by the Culinary Christmas Classic which brings the celebration to a delicious close featuring tastings from Southern Oregon's finest dining establishments in the midst of a thrilling silent auction. This event has been described as the "best event in Josephine County!" A Golden Social is also offered for the senior community.

Aside from the fact that this amazing gala event has raised over $400,000 for the above mentioned healthcare agencies I am fascinated by what I observed among the countless volunteers, artists, decorators and local businesses that came together to make this event not only a fundraising success but a "love" success in my book. What do I mean by this unique collaboration to help improve our community's overall health? Just that, LOVE.

Simply by perusing the pictures in this post you will see evident that love and hope live strongly in our Grants Pass and Rogue Valley community. As I only witnessed a fraction of the time spent planning this event I could nearly palpate the countless hours that must have gone into preparation for these incredible displays of invention and creativity.

Enjoy the following photographs of one of my personal favorites in the 16 plus Christmas Trees and Art Exhibitions each lovingly fashioned from each creator's desire of his or her heart.

The following photographs feature the Christmas Tree entitled THE TANGLED TINSEL TREE FARM, WINNER OF "BEST TRADITIONAL" and sponsored by Edward Jones - Brian Sachs.  The talented designers of this showcase are Heather Sachs and Carol Loftesnes. Each are pictured during their hours of preparation to make this display one-of-a-kind. 

As quoted from the Rogue Winterfest Auction Program, "This scene reminds us of families gathering together for the adventure of finding the perfect tree: that magic bit of a winter wonderland we bring into our home each year. Hot cocoa, a sled, and a dusting of snow set the scene for this lovely vintage-inspired vignette of Christmas joy"

Designer and local Grants Pass artisan Heather Sachs takes in the final scene as she contemplates the last minute touches necessary to make their display perfect in every way.

A vintage sled, blanket, ice skates, truck, cloche and tinsel adorn the winter scene.
Carol adjusts the vignette to scale and balance in the display. I enjoyed so much watching 
their expertise in action.

Heather carefully prepares each item set into the scene.

Many aspects of this joy-filled scene could certainly be used as post cards! I am so tempted for next year but will need their permission.

The backdrop was hand-painted by local artist Carol Loftesnes pictured below.

And, the final product to be auctioned off at the GRAND TREE, ART AND VACATION AUCTION....
this gorgeous display has a value of $1200. Thank you Edward Jones - Brian Sachs, Heather Sachs, Carol Loftesnes and Gigi Ashley, Event Coordinator and Sue Price, Event Planner for allowing me to join you in this fabulous work of love you create for our Josephine County ! It was a pleasure to document your service to our community family. God Bless Us, Everyone !


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