Festival of Trees

Granite County Medical Foundation Festival of Trees


Purchase a Festival of Trees commemorative ornament for $20 (+$5 Shipping)!

2 Ways to Purchase a Festival Ornament:

1. Send a check for $20+$5 shipping to GCMF, PO Box 401, Philipsburg, MT 59858 with your name and address included, or
2. Donate $25 by PayPal/Credit Card here. Please share your address so that we can ship it to you!

You can also purchase for just $20 via the methods above and pick your ornament up at Back Creek Pottery from now through Yule Night (Please allow for processing of payment).

For additional questions, please email Krista at . Thank you for your support!


2016 Granite County Festival of Trees Video


2017 Festival of Trees

Scroll for Invitation, Auction List, FAQ, Press Coverage & A Letter from the GCMF Chair


2017 Granite County Festival of Trees InvitationClick image to enlarge invitation.

2017 Tree Auction List


1. Tree Name: The Wildfire Tree | By Hearts in Common & Sponsored by First Security Bank
Hearts in Common: Jodi Oberweiser, Leslie de Santiago, Nicol Rasor, Micki Crews, Sheila White, Kaylie White, Paula Crews, Alicia Hicks, Maretta McGowan & Bridgette Oberweiser

When 2017’s wildfires threatened land around the world, firefighters brought JOY to people from Australia to Mexico, from Canada to California, and most of all to Montana. With joy & gratitude, we celebrate our firefighters this Christmas season. Includes a gift basket of “hot items” & three containers of red candies.

2. Tree Name: Circle of Joy | By Cabin Creek Sisters & Sponsored by Huffman Grocery
Cabin Creek Sisters: Heidi MacDonald, Leslie Dybdal, Deidre Frame, Sarah Winninghoff Gallagher & Mary Winninghoff Frank

The Cabin Creek Sisters want you to once again go back in time with a two-night stay at Fisherman Folly Cabin on Rock Creek, and, while you are there, to enjoy wines from around the world. Includes a two-night stay at Fisherman Folly Cabin on Rock Creek.

3. Tree Name: Music is the Universal Language | By Philipsburg Schools & Sponsored by Granite Pharmacy
Philipsburg Schools Team: Criss Dunkerson, Sarah Knutson, Jill Waldbillig, Samantha Thomas & Sandy McDonald

Crafted ornaments depicting music as the languages of the globe bring joy to the world this Christmas.

4. Tree Name: Comfort and Joy Tree | By & Sponsored by Blackfoot
Blackfoot Team: Marilee Klaudt, Michelle Owens, Cyrus Bowman & Chris Riley

A fire-filled summer behind us; it’s time for a little Comfort and Joy. Our tree, inspired by the northern Celtic countries, is a mini winter wonderland of elegant silver stags, a scattering of pinecones amidst red and clear ornaments, all beautifully displayed on a reimagined cable reel and accompanied by classic handmade plaid stockings set in warm white fur. And, of course, a toast to wherever your family and friends find you! Includes a 4 1/2 foot tabletop tree and display table.

5. Tree Name: A Nordic Christmas | By & Sponsored by The Ranch at Rock Creek
The Ranch at Rock Creek Team: Kate DeMello, Ashley Atkinson, Christina Wernikowski, Lauren Messmore & Ranch Elves

Travel to the world’s pristine and rugged Nordic lands. The glow of candlelight will light your snowy path as you discover nature’s beauty, handcrafted treasures and a tasting of house-made glögg (Swedish spiced wine). Includes a certificate for an all-inclusive two-night stay at The Ranch at Rock Creek, complete with all meals, beverages, guided outdoor activities & nightly luxury accommodations.

6. Tree Name: Tour de Chocolat | By We Tree Queens & Sponsored by Payne West Insurance
We Tree Queens: Shelley Johnson, Susan Hale & Cat Johnson

Chocolate is an international indulgence, and now you don’t need a passport to enjoy chocolate from around the world. Young and old will delight in the decadence within, including an ornament advent calendar, hot cocoa ornaments and a multicultural treasure trove under the tree – filled with chocolate cordial cups, liquor, a puzzle, a calendar and chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate from countries all around the globe!  The ultimate sweet treat this holiday season.

7. Tree Name: All Around the World | By Mistletoe Misfits & Sponsored by Monida Healthcare Network
Mistletoe Misfits: Wendy Bowen Mueller & Gary Mueller

Christmas around the world – a never ending circle of Love, Peace and Happiness. In times of war a cease fire has been called to celebrate the birth of a tiny baby who brings Peace, Joy, Love & Happiness to the world. In many countries the sharing of bread, wine, meat & cheese is a symbol of Peace & Unity. So let us all raise a glass that the Christmas spirit & Joy to the World shall last throughout the year! Includes wine, wine glasses and meat, cheese and cracker basket.

8. Tree Name: Last Best Place on Earth…Montana | By Way Out West & Sponsored by Gem Mountain
Way Out West: Leslie Fickler, Penny Hurley & Karen Paget

Our tree is a blend of Western themed ideas that make Montana unique! Our tree décor is what we believe the true spirit of a Montana Cowboy Christmas represents! This tree contains over $400 in décor, which was contributed by Fickler Oil.

9. Tree Name: The Veteran’s Tree | By Rock Creek Ladies & Sponsored by Dee Motors
Rock Creek Ladies: Virginia Gallagher, Barbara Sanders, Debbie Rask, Jan Kauffman & Barbara Clark

It started with a Christmas carol, Silent Night, sung from the trenches of WWI that led to British, Belgian & French solders laying down their weapons, standing with the Germans, singing Christmas carols on a cold white moonlit Christmas Eve. Honoring our veterans on this Veteran’s Day because the Joy of Christmas, with its love and peace, has the power to reach around the globe. Includes: Original oil painting of Santa, handcrafted hall tree, wooden shoes, world globe, handcrafted stained glass panel, stained glass dove ornaments, quilted tree skirt and two nights lodging in a cabin on the Clark Ranch.

10. Tree Name: Trip Around the World | By Granite County Tree Huggers & Sponsored by Angelo Cattle Company
Granite County Tree Huggers: Annette Ramberg, Monica Prince, Danielle Bergerson, Gail Leeper, Jo Radtke & Jackie Bolster

On our trip around the world we have visited the North Pole via the Polar Express. Our team has crafted a tree to get you to that destination and the bell still rings for all who truly believe! Complete with a wine laden train under this gorgeous tree.

11. Tree Name: “Tree’Pee (Teepee) | By The Tree Amigos & Sponsored by Philipsburg Brewing Company
The Tree Amigos: Chelsea Martini of CMartini Jewelry, Colton Martini of Sage Interiors & Jayne Piazza of Fresh Works Studios

Inspired by native traditions, cozy up inside your ‘tree’pee. From the gifts nestled in tight to the mosaic compass placed on top, Montana artisans crafted every detail of this tree which depicts our special corner of the globe. Includes artistic elements meant to be  celebrated for years to come! – Handcrafted mosaic compass rose by Jayne Piazza ($215), handmade canvas teepee by Mike Krause ($150), handcrafted wooden base by MK Creations ($350), copper dipped maple leaf ornaments by CMartini ($175), hand-painted canvas and leather by Debra Towner ($195), original 16 x20 print by James Corwin ($300), elk antler jewelry by CMartini ($230), design consultation with Sage Interiors ($500), home goods from Sage Interiors ($300), merchandise from Philipsburg Brewing Co. ($300), handmade fish brick by Jayne Piazza ($30), original book and artwork by Jayne Piazza ($16), handcrafted spirits by Spotted Bear Spirits ($95), authentic stone head arrow by Yarak Longbows ($55).

12. Tree Name: “Gnome” for the Holidays! | By Groomes Girls & Sponsored by Skyview Property Owners+ The Griffins
Groomes Girls: Marcia Groomes, Brande Comings, Charis Wolfgram & Jessie Funkhouser

See our adorable Scandinavian Christmas gnomes up to their mischievous tricks! Handmade Swedish inspired garlands and ornaments accent these mythological creatures, a popular tradition during the Scandinavian holidays for their gift giving to children. Includes two 18″ gnome dolls holding “God Jul” sign, miniature sleigh complete with sitting gnome, Swedish holiday gingersnaps, “dala horse” print tea towel, terra cotta Swedish tree cookie press, handmade Swedish peppermint and red mushroom lights.

13. Tree Name: Embrace Christmas Around the World | By Granite Gals & Sponsored by Discovery Ski Area
Granite Gals: Betty Jo May, Joan Becknell, Beatriz Pitcher, Judy Paige, Liz Willett, Annie Young, Barb Conn & Janet Koon

Celebrate Christmas with this unique Montana tree, including beautiful hand-painted ornaments to remind you of the hopes and desires of ALL people. The advent basket under the tree holds delights for every day in December. The fabulous gifts were given with love by generous Montana folk. Gift Contributors: Daily Grind, Broadway Trading Co., Gizmos, Headquarters, Yvonne Kleinhans, Seven Gables, John Piacquadio (artist), Discovery Ski Area, Paul Thompson, Maxville VFW, O’Bella, Snookies, Flint Creek Outdoors, Pfendler Post & Pole and Liz Willett.

14. Tree Name: A Spruced Up World | By Ruth & Alex McDonald & Sponsored by Philipsburg Rotary Club

What better way to celebrate a joyful world than to create it? Take a trip around the world on this spruced up version of the globe!

15. Tree Name: All We Need is Powder | By The Lyons Family & Sponsored by Rock Creek Land & Cattle Ranch, LLC
Lyons Family: Scott, Tricia, Travis, Crockett, Reagan & Bonham Lyons

A modern adaptation of the classic tree that will have you yearning for the alpine slopes of Switzerland. Includes a two-night stay at the Cabins at Rock Creek, including two bottles of vino, float trip for two from Montana Drifters Outfitters with Otter Water from The Philipsburg Brewing Co., a gift certificate to Brick’s Restaurant in Philipsburg and apparel by Live Montanably. Total value over $1700.

Stay tuned for pictures of Decorator’s Night on Friday, November 10!


The 2015 Trees following Decorator’s Night in The Ranch at Rock Creek’s Buckle Barn




What is this year’s theme?

This year’s theme is “Joy to the World: Christmas Around the Globe.” The Festival is taking flight to see how other countries celebrate Christmas and other December holidays. Many of our current Christmas traditions immigrated along with our ancestors. Fascinating and beautiful celebrations and customs take place every year in far away places. We hope you’ll accompany us on this journey around the world. No passport required!

Where will the 2017 Festival take place and how do I get there?

The 2017 Festival of Trees will take place at The Ranch at Rock Creek‘s beautiful Buckle Barn. The event will be hosted by the Granite County Medical Foundation and The Ranch at Rock Creek’s talented event team. Please read this blog for more information about them. You can also read blogs about the 2014 and 2015 events on The Blog at Rock Creek. The Ranch at Rock Creek is our Angel Sponsor and we are grateful for all that they do to make this event a success.

Take MT-1/Pintler Veteran’s Memorial Scenic Highway to Philipsburg. Turn right onto the Skalkaho Highway (Route 38)—the turn is six miles past Philipsburg. Travel up the Skalkaho Highway for 12 miles, until you cross Rock Creek. Take an immediate right and head down Rock Creek Road/Carriage House Lane for two miles. Instead of taking a left under the Ranch at Rock Creek’s arch, take a right and cross over the Rock Creek bridge. Continue until you see directions to the parking area. Ranch at Rock Creek staff members will direct you to parking.

The Ranch’s address is 79 Carriage House Lane, Philipsburg, Montana 59858. You can also get directions using Google Maps or other services. Please note that some areas of Rock Creek do not have continuous cell phone service.

Can I come early to get a peek at the trees or tour the area?

We kindly ask that you don’t come before the 6 PM start time. We are actively involved in setting up the event for the night and early guests make it hard to complete last minute tasks and make our event to run without a hitch!

The Ranch at Rock Creek has been extremely generous in accommodating us, but they are also hosting guests on the property during this time. We ask that you stay within the immediate area of the Buckle Barn, so that they can continue to go about their daily business of providing a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star stay for their guests. Please also be careful when driving into The Ranch at Rock Creek for the event. Guests on property generally walk or ride bikes, and we want it to be a safe experience for all.

Do I need to buy tickets?

You do not need tickets for this community event. However, when you arrive and during the event you will be asked to make a tax-deductible donation. Donations made by check to the Granite County Medical Foundation can be tax-deductible. Remember to include your address on the check so that we may send you a donation receipt.

We are suggesting a $10 donation per person, but there are many ways to give. In place of this donation, you may purchase a tree, sponsor a tree, volunteer for the Foundation or donate your time and effort into decorating a tree. We ask people to please remember that above all, this is a fundraiser for the non-profit Granite County Medical Foundation and every donation, big or small, helps us to complete important health projects in the community like the kids summer food program, the Women’s Wellness Brunch, health education talks, life-saving emergency medication, defibrillators and necessary equipment for the Medical Center and Long-Term Care facility—to name a few.

How can I sign up for the free shuttle?

There is a free shuttle provided by Beach Transportation and funded by the Granite County Medical Foundation and a generous donation by Granite Mountain Bank. One shuttle will be dedicated to the Drummond and Hall area and one shuttle will be dedicated to Philipsburg. Please call For Shuttle Reservations Contact GCMC Marketing and Activities Manager Shirley Cornelius at 406-859-3271 Ext.123 or .

Reserving a place by phone or email, with confirmation from Shirley, is the only way to guarantee a place. If the Philipsburg shuttle fills up and there is space on the lower valley shuttle, we will add a stop at the Sunshine Station.

Free Shuttle Schedule
Times are approximate. Please be early to all departures as buses will not wait long.

Lower Valley Bus:
5:00 PM: Depart Drummond Library
5:15 PM: Depart Hall (Cafe on the East Side of the Highway)
6:15 PM: Arrive at The Ranch at Rock Creek
9:45 PM: Depart The Ranch at Rock Creek
11:00 PM: Arrive Hall Cafe
11:15 PM: Arrive Drummond Library

Upper Valley Bus: 
5:30 PM: Depart Philipsburg Town Hall
6:00 PM: Arrive at The Ranch at Rock Creek
9:45 PM: Depart Ranch at Rock Creek
10:30PM: Arrive Philipsburg Town Hall

Will there be drinks and food at the event?

Yes, the food will be provided by The Ranch at Rock Creek and their Executive Chef Josh Drage’s culinary team. It will consist of delectable hors d’oeuvres. Drinks will be available for purchase for $5. Attendees can enjoy beer from The Philipsburg Brewing Company and wine from Snookie’s Wine Cellar. We thank these two organizations for being valued sponsors of our event. Non-alcoholic beverages will be provided free of charge. We encourage everyone to take advantage of the free shuttle or ensure they have a designated driver. Please help us make this a safe and fun event.

Can children attend the event?

The Gala Auction is not designed to accommodate children. The beverages and gourmet hors d’oeuvres are curated for adults, and the event will likely run a little late for most children. We’ve designed the event to be a fun night to dress up a little, grab a date and support a local charity. In years past, it has been a full capacity type event, without a dedicated space for children, and this will continue. We understand it can be hard to find a baby sitter. We hope you will do so, take our free shuttle and have a fantastic night out together!

Will there be a silent auction or other items to purchase?

The sole, featured, and much desired auction items are the 15 beautiful Christmas trees that our decorator teams have designed. They will be sold in a live auction, led by professional auctioneer, Ted Odle. We will have a slideshow up on the big screen so all in attendance will be able to follow the auction as we go through the grove.

We will also have handmade ornaments to purchase for $20. These ornaments have been created by local artisan Pat Siler of Back Creek Pottery. They are designed with this year’s theme, “Joy to the World,” in mind, but with a special Montana twist.

Who are the decorators?

Decorator teams are women and men who have banded together to showcase exceptional artistry in the spirit of the season and for a great cause. We have teams from Drummond, Hall, Maxville, Philipsburg and Rock Creek—stretching all across our beautiful county. The teams spend months planning and creating the vision for their “Joy to the World” tree. Then, they meet in the Buckle Barn on Friday, November 10 for three hours to decorate their trees. You will see a full list of the decorators on the auction list. Please recognize them during the event and remind them of what amazing talents they have. We are truly lucky to live in a county with so many exceptional artists.

How do I vote for trees?

We have streamlined our tree voting this year. When you enter the Buckle Barn you will have three tickets – one for each category: Most Original Tree, Best Classic Tree and Best “Joy to the World” Themed Tree. You will see envelopes on the music stand in front of each of the trees. To vote for a tree, go to the tree and drop a ticket in the envelope for the category of your choice. Extra tickets will not be given, so please keep track of them!

Dedicated volunteers will count the tickets during the auction and we will announce the winners at the end of the event.

If I buy a tree, how can I pay for it and how will I get it back to my house?

Payments for trees can be made by check, cash or credit card. (Note: there is a small chance of connectivity issues that would keep our card reader from working). Please note that we will not be able to accept credit card payments for drinks, so please be prepared with cash or check.

Trees will be wrapped up and taken to the Granite County Medical Center Conference Room (right across from the Granite Center located at 310 S Sansome St, Philipsburg, MT 59858. They can be collected the next day between 10 AM and Noon. We want to thank Chris Cooney of Gem Mountain for providing his trailer on Gala Auction night.

Do you have a question that’s not listed here? Email us at or call Festival Chair Maria Conn at 406-546-8491. We’ll update our FAQ with questions as we get them.

View photos of the 2016 Gala Auction and Decorator’s Night. 2017 photos will again be provided by Leslie Conn of Heritage Photo.

2017 Festival Sponsors
Please join us in thanking our valued sponsors

Angel Sponsor:
The Ranch at Rock Creek

Event Sponsor:
Dauenhauer Real Estate

Shuttle Sponsor:
Granite Mountain Bank

Tree Sponsors:
Granite Pharmacy
Payne West Insurance
Philipsburg Brewing Company
Gem Mountain
Monida Healthcare Network
Philipsburg Rotary Club
Angelo Cattle Company
Skyview Property Owners
Discovery Ski Area
Rock Creek Land and Cattle Ranch, LLC
First Security Bank
Dee Motors
Huffman Grocery
The Ranch at Rock Creek

Additional Sponsors:
Milodragovich, Dale & Steinbrenner PC
Myraas Painting/Philipsburg Day Spa
Snookies Wine Cellar

For more information about sponsorship levels and decorator guidelines, please view our 2017 Sponsor and Decorator Booklet.  Click on this link and maximize (using the box in the lower right corner) to flip through the book.

‘A lovely way to start out the holiday season’:
Granite County throwing annual Festival of Trees

by Tom Kuglin, Helena Independent Record

Granite County is taking an international approach to help get the Christmas season going and raise money for a good cause.

The fourth annual Granite County Festival of Trees takes place Saturday, Nov. 11 with the theme “Joy to the World: Christmas Around the Globe.” Proceeds from the public event benefit the Granite County Medical Foundation.

“Our mission is to address underfunded health related projects, and we have (had) a lot of big projects but no main fundraiser,” Krista Johnson, outreach director for the Foundation, said when asked what inspired the festival. “Also people are so generous in this county, we didn’t want to step on other fundraisers so we were really looking at something that wasn’t being done. It creates a community event and a chance to come out and celebrate.”

In 2016 and 2017 the foundation funded multiple health projects in the county.
The group:
• Planned and hosted the annual Women’s Wellness Brunch.
• Funded the Winkley Mammogram Bus, which provides mammogram and bone density testing on location in Philipsburg in 2016.
• Paid for half of TNKase clot treatment drug used for heart attacks and strokes.
• Provided funding for Drummond and Philipsburg kids summer food programs, and provided administration for the Drummond program.
• Hosted an osteoarthritis education talk in May of 2016.
• Began a Wellness Talks education series, including an addiction event in May 2017 and a prenatal and pediatric care event to be held in early 2018.
• Contributed operating costs to Granite County Health Fairs.
• Awarded a $1,000 scholarship to a local student pursuing a career in health care through the Philipsburg Area Education Foundation.
• Funded and led a campaign to make free child car seat checks available to all Granite County families.
• Provided $20,000 toward construction of a new CT Scanner testing facility at Granite County Medical Center in order to improve standard of care and emergency patient outcomes.
• Pledged $1,000 each to support Drummond & Philipsburg walking trails.

The festival is hosted at The Ranch at Rock Creek outside of Philipsburg and is free with a suggested $10 donation. Then once inside, guests may sample hors d’oeuvres, enjoy a cash bar, and 15 sponsored and decorated trees will be auctioned off at the end of the night.

“Health isn’t always the most flashy thing and this is a great way to really take it out of a health fair and put it in the community,” Johnson said.

“There are so many ways to give and if you buy a tree, you’re going home with something really amazing. It’s a lovely way to start out the holiday season.”

Read the full article and see all the pictures on the Helena Independent Record website.

A Word From the Board

We were amazed yet again last November by the generosity of our community and surrounding counties when it came to supporting the Festival of Trees. Our event has become an annual treasure to be enjoyed by all and allows us the financial freedom to carry out our mission “to provide support to the Hospital District and improve the lives of our community residents and patients through philanthropic efforts.” Our goal of creating a healthier and happier place to live within Granite County is being realized due the generosity of all connected with this event – from volunteers to Decorators to community members to the general public. At the 2016 event, we raised almost $40,000 and we look forward to presenting how we’ve distributed funds at this year’s event.

What started as a small gathering has become a highly anticipated event. We marveled alongside attendees at the wondrous forest grove that came to life during Decorator’s Night. Old friends enjoyed conversation one minute and bid against each other the next in the most highly competitive and spirited auction yet! Decorators began preparing for the 2017 Gala almost before all the successful bidders from the 2017 auction were enjoying their new trees.

The changes initiated in 2016 were so well received, we’ll continue to keep it a free event with free food, a free shuttle and festivities, asking all attending to make a donation of what they feel is appropriate – through a sponsorship, through time spent decorating a tree, through volunteering or through a monetary donation or tree purchase at the Gala Auction.

We will have a cash bar for beer and wine and will again provide free non-alcoholic beverages. Attendance will be limited to the capacity of the Buckle Barn (more info on that in our invitation), but all of our Sponsors and Decorators are assured space at the event. Yet another reason to join together to support this worthy cause and guarantee yourself a front-row spot at one of the most entertaining events of the year, as well as the opportunity to bid for one of our treasured trees.

We sincerely hope to see you on Saturday, November 11th and thank you so much for your support. This year’s theme “Joy to the World: Christmas Around the Globe” will undoubtedly bring out the best in our decorating teams, ensure a rousing, successful auction, and commence the start of a wondrous Holiday Season for all!

~Granite County Medical Foundation Chair & Festival Chair, Maria Conn


2016 Festival of Trees 

Congrats to our 2016 winning tree teams.

Best Classic Tree – Memories of Christmases Past designed by the Rock Creek Ladies, Karen Petersen, Barbara & Kinzey Clark, Virginia Gallagher, Barbara Sanders & Debbie Rask

Best “Season of Stories” themed Tree – The Grinch by The Drummond Bunch, Danielle Bergerson, Gail Leeper, Monica Prince & Annette Ramberg

Most Original Tree – A Christmas Story to Remember designed by the Granite Gals, Joan Becknell, Barb Conn, Janet Koon, Betty Jo May, Judy Paige, Beatrix Pitcher & Liz Willet

Congrats and thanks for all your hard work!


Festivities Kick Off
by Emily Petrovski of The Philipsburg Mail

“It was a very, very successful event,” Festival of Trees Chair Maria Conn told the Mail.

This year’s Festival of Trees fundraiser for the Granite County Medical Foundation was held over the weekend. Teams decorated their trees on Friday night and they were auctioned off the next day. (See photos of the decorator’s night.)

Conn said it is difficult for her to wrap her head around the amount of help and support the community gives.

“The event takes lots of man hours and work, which shows just how special it is to the community,” Conn said.

Having grown up in Granite County, Conn enjoys watching the families that have deep roots in the valley interact with the newer folks at the Festival of Trees. People of all backgrounds come together to celebrate the season.

Watching local artists transform the trees is one of Conn’s favorite aspects of the event, she said.

This year, the Granite County Medical Center’s long-term care residents came to the tree decorating night on Friday. It gave them an opportunity to become part of the decorating process and harken back to memories of decorating their own trees.

The Foundation’s Outreach Director Krista Johnson, whose grandmother lives at the facility, said the event is a great chance for those residents to get into the holiday spirit. Having a quieter, less crowded experience is more like what tree decorating in their own home would have been like.

It is a poignant moment for Johnson when she gets to see her grandmother enjoying herself at the decorating evening, she said.

“The decorators give so much. It just amazes me,” Conn said.

She enjoys watching the look of focus and concentration on the decorators’ faces on Friday night. “It’s great food and fun,” she noted.

This year the Foundation held a pre-decorators meeting in September, which helped people to get ready for the event, she said.

Johnson commented that decorators eagerly await the announcement for next year’s theme for the Festival. The board tries to have the decision made by the first of the year. Some decorators will begin buying their ornaments and accessories on sale shortly after the announcement is made.

“A lot of people give in different ways,” Johnson said.

The event has sponsors and had a cash bar for the first time this year. Commemorative ornaments made by Pat Siler of Back Creek Pottery are also being sold.

“It’s really our only fundraiser,” Johnson said of the Festival of Trees. She noted that people may give privately or donate at other events that are held, but they do not hold donation drives.

“They just amaze me,” Conn said of the sponsors for the event. She noted that Granite Mountain Bank helped to provide a shuttle to the event. People may want to come to the event and enjoy the cash bar responsibly, or may not want to drive the country road at night, so the shuttle allows them to still be able to come and enjoy the event, she said.

Conn likes to watch the generosity of the community that she’s been in for years as they support the event and the Medical Foundation. The board is hopeful the event raised about $40,000. Though the final figures will likely not be in until the end of the month.

Though the Foundation does support the Granite County Hospital District, they want their reach to stretch across the valley, Johnson said. They take up individual projects such as the summer lunch programs in both Philipsburg and Drummond. The Foundation purchased defibrillators for Sheriff’s Office cars and community hubs as well as funding Granite County Dental Clinic equipment. The group also holds the annual Women’s Wellness Brunch which brings speakers to talk about issues that are important to women.

“There’s so much good the Foundation does,” Conn commented. “It’s just such a great board to work with,” she added.

Johnson said she hopes the Festival of Trees can become an institution in the area. It is a festive time for the community to come together, she said.


2016 Granite County Festival of Trees Flyer

2016 Granite County Festival of Trees Auction List

~View Photos of the Festival Grove. ~

  1. OUR COMMUNITY TREE designed by Marilee Klaudt & Michelle Owens and sponsored by Blackfoot. | Our Community, the people, places and events that weave our stories together.
  1. ALL ABOUT THE REINDEER designed by the Wild Rose Loop Ladies, Sue Huffman, Dawn Dee & Barbara Hood and sponsored by Dee Motors. | Dasher and Dancer, Donner and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Prancer and Blitzen and the most famous reindeer of all, Rudolph–magical high flyers delivering gifts and dreams.
  1. THE MANY STORIES OF CHRISTMAS designed by Kathy Fitzpatrick, Leann Frazee, Jody Dallaserra & Kira Dallaserra and sponsored by Gem Mountain. | Listening to stories by the lights of the tree, comfortably rocking, instills memories of a lifetime. Encompassing the many enchanting tales of the season from nutcrackers to snowmen, an overall representation of the holiday spirit.
  1. HOO’s DREAMING OF A COZY CHRISTMAS? designed by Ruth & Alex McDonald (our only decorators to decorate every year since the Festival began!) and sponsor Philipsburg Rotary Club. |

The forest is just like a picture
We hear the echoes of “hoo-hoo”
If you look and listen as close as you can
You may spot an owl or two

 The stars cast a glow on the new fallen snow
Build a snowman is what we must do
To keep ourselves warm on this brisk winter night
Better put on a mitten or two 

The weather is chilling and crisp
A fire, I hope it will do
The time has come to get cozy and warm
Better put on a stocking or two

The season of Christmas is nearing
A time to feel neither sad or blue
Just cozy on up with a book by the fire
And enjoy a cup of cocoa or two

  1. THE GRINCH designed by The Drummond Bunch and sponsored by Angelo Cattle Company. | Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more. The Drummond based team of Danielle Bergerson, Gail Leeper, Monica Prince and Annette Ramberg has crafted a tree based on “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” It will be a whimsical tree done in bright red and green and lots of fun! There will be no roast beast!
  1. DREAMS OF THE PAST, CHRISTMASES GONE BY designed by Wendy Bowen & Gary Mueller and sponsored by Monida Healthcare Network. | In the days of past when there were no lights, tinsel or store bought ornaments, a Christmas Tree consisted of items from around the home and those that Mother Nature had to offer, many trees contained ornaments the children made. If one could go back to a simpler time when the season was that of love and family, could you just imagine how wonderful Christmas could be again, nothing store bought, just a beautiful tree full of love and imagination.
  1. THE MITTEN designed by The Ranch at Rock Creek Team and sponsored by The Ranch at Rock Creek, the Festival’s Angel Sponsor. | The Ranch at Rock Creek would like to share the story of The Mitten, by Jan Brett. Like this sweet and funny tale, our tree celebrates the wonder of winter and the magical dance we do with the wild creatures that live in the forest. Join us in honoring spectacular Western Montana, where we can immerse ourselves in nature’s beauty and be inspired by woodland creatures big and small.
  1. TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS designed by Tricia & Scott Lyons & Shannon Olsson and sponsored by Whimsy. | Inspired by the classic early 18th century American poem by Clement Clarke Moore, our Christmas tree includes images from the “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and harkens back to the magical Christmases of everyone’s childhood. Our tree also includes everything one might need for staying in on a cold night, making hot chocolate and snuggling up by the fireplace.
  2. MEMORIES OF CHRISTMASES PAST designed by the Rock Creek Ladies, Karen Petersen, Barbara & Kinzey Clark, Virginia Gallagher, Barbara Sanders & Debbie Rask, and sponsored by Payne West Insurance. | Let the memories begin. Bright lights and colors, skates and sleds, tinsel and cookies made of gingerbread. Children all snuggled around the tree for the sharing of a Christmas Story.
  1. THE GREAT GATS “TREE” designed by The Tree Amigos, Colton Martini – Colton Martini Interiors, Sharon Mungas – Mungas Company & Chelsea Martini – CMartini Jewelry and sponsored by the Philipsburg Brewing Company. | “Can’t we repeat the past?… Why of course you can!” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby Flash back to a time when dashing didn’t just mean frolicking through the snow. Immerse yourself in the magic of the holidays. Let’s dress up for the occasion as we celebrate the most festive time of year. So, find your finest suite and tie and dust off your pearls. Don’t forget to bring the bubbly as we toast to the merriest season of all!
  1. NORMAN designed by Cabin Creek Sisters, Heidi MacDonald, Mary Frank, Deidre Frame, Sarah Gallagher & Amy Winningoff, and sponsored by Huffman Grocery. | “At the time, I did not know that the stories of our life are often more like rivers than books.” ~ Norman Maclean. Our tree Norman wants you to experience the many stories that Fisherman Folly Cabin has to tell. Please go back in time for two nights and three days, throw out a line, cozy up with a great book, and by all means, make your own stories.
  1. A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS designed by The Jolly Johnsons, Shelley Johnson and Cat Johnson, and sponsored by Rock Creek Land & Cattle Ranch LLC. | Often referred to as “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” Clement C. Moore’s timeless poem and this tree capture the anticipation and excitement of both young and old that only St. Nick can bring during his elusive Christmas Eve visit. Filled with handmade elements to deck your own halls or be given to spread holiday cheer.
  1. A CHRISTMAS STORY TO REMEMBER designed by the Granite Gals, Joan Becknell, Barb Conn, Janet Koon, Betty Jo May, Judy Paige, Beatrix Pitcher & Liz Willett, and sponsored by Discovery Ski Area. | We rarely see things as joyful as Christmas tree! In nature nothing is perfect, but everything is perfect. Trees are often contorted, bent in weird ways and beautiful. We hope you are enchanted by our special Montana Christmas tree. The Christmas balls that decorate our tree are hand painted by Montana artists; each one celebrates a particular, much-loved Christmas story. Look for your favorite, let it bring back cherished memories of Christmases past; recount the memories to your family and friends. Under the tree are even more treats, under our tree are gifts given with love by very generous Montana folk! Merry Christmas! || Included: a storybook or DVD for all 23 hand painted Christmas ornaments | Daily Grind – coin purse, coffee mug and gift card | Broadway Trading Co. – calendar, socks and Philipsburg magnet | Paul Thompson – Native American jewelry | gizmos – 2 games | discovery ski – Christmas ornament & 1 adult all-day lift ticket | Yvonne Kleinhans – hand quilted | Maxville VFW – liquor basket | Seven Gables – 3 drink tokens. 
  1. PHILIPSBURG’S 150-YEAR OLD STORY TREE designed by Grassroots, Leslie Boomer & Mellonee Grange, and sponsored by Skyview Property Owners and Walt & Linda Griffin. | The decorations will be as it was 150 years ago. Handmade primitive ornaments with a touch of handmade items from the artist’s at the Grassroots Gifts and Gallery Store which will include greeting cards, handmade goat mild soap, carved fish and bear, wooden ornaments and a whole lot more. There will be a lariat rope basket with handmade cattails as well as a hand carved bear!
  1. DRINK AND BE MERRY designed by DRW, Sara Koon, Marie Greany, Sara Wagner, Kira Conn, Hayley Skinner & Tina Wetsch, and sponsored by First Security Bank. | Within our DRW, we heard the reoccurring “story” in our Christmas memories. It’s not what we receive each year, but about enjoying the company of our family and friends. Laughing, visiting and watching our families grow, we look forward to our “Drink and be Merry” classic Christmas’ year after year.
  1. REDNECK MARTHA designed and donated by an anonymous donor. | For the second year in a row, local anonymous artist Redneck Martha has donated a tree to be auctioned off to benefit the Foundation. We thank her continued support, creativity and generosity.

Join us on Saturday when we sell these amazing trees in a thrilling live auction!

2016 Festival Promises “A Season of Stories” at The Ranch at Rock Creek

We have been so pleased by the generous response to the Festival of Trees over the past three years. Our attendance and funds raised have grown every year—from a small holiday party four years ago with just three trees to a grand affair in The Ranch at Rock Creek Buckle Barn. Last year, over 100 people donated time, money and hard work to help us raise almost $30,000 for local healthcare projects.

Thanks to all who showed interest in helping us make this a bigger and better event in 2016. When we looked back at our success, one thing became clear—we want to continue to make this a community-wide event, rather than a private fundraiser event. We want to welcome people from all corners of Granite County to share in the creativity, positivity and generosity our area has to offer—all with the goal of creating a healthier, happier place to live.

You will see in this section that we have made some changes. Although it will still be a community event with free food, a free shuttle and festivities, we are asking all who attend to make a donation of $10 or what they feel is appropriate—through a sponsorship, through time spent decorating a tree, through volunteering or through a monetary donation or tree purchase at the Gala Auction.

This year, we will have a $5 cash bar for beer and wine. We will provide free non-alcoholic beverages, but we will ask attendees to bring a little cash in their pockets if they want to enjoy drinks, such as Philipsburg Brewing Company beer or Snookies curated wine, throughout the night.

Attendance will be limited to the capacity of the Buckle Barn. In order to accommodate people we have had to remove all the tables and most of the seating. Although we know this “standing room only” will not be ideal for everyone, we know that most people had to stand last year and there will be plenty to see in the Festival grove. We hope to see you on November 12th (or before).

We hope to kick o the holiday season in style with you this November. We know our “Season of Stories” grove will be a sight to behold!

~Granite County Medical Foundation Festival Chair, Maria Conn



2016 Festival Sponsors


Thank you to these generous sponsors for all they do to make this community event what it is.
Please support them this holiday season!

Angel Sponsor ~ The Ranch at Rock Creek

Event Sponsors ~ Blackfoot & Granite Pharmacy

Shuttle Sponsor ~ Granite Mountain Bank

Tree Sponsors ~ Angelo Cattle Company, Huffman Grocery, Dee Motors, Blackfoot, Whimsy Boutique, Rock Creek Land & Cattle Ranch LLC, Philipsburg Rotary Club, Monida Healthcare Network, Gem Mountain, Skyview Property Owners with Linda and Walt Griffith, Philipsburg Brewing CompanyDiscovery Ski Area, First Security Bank, Payne West Insurance

Additional Sponsors ~ Snookies, Milodragovich, Dale, Steinbrenner PC



2015 Festival of Trees


FOT Invitation 2 copy

 2015 Festival of Trees Auction List

 Live Gala Auction on Saturday, November 14th from 6 to 10 PM at The Ranch at Rock Creek
(Items not listed in auction order)


Vintage Ski Vacation designed by Tricia and Scott Lyons and sponsored by Discovery Ski Area
Inspired by the magical snow covered landscapes that attract so many to Montana each winter, our tree includes snowflakes, woolen ribbon reminiscent of classic winter sweaters, hand decorated jingle bells and reindeer, handmade wooden ornaments, and images of ski vacations gone by. Our tree will also include a “5-Pack” pass to Ski Discovery.

Granite in Gold designed by DRW and sponsored by First Security Bank
A wise owl looks out upon the majesty of Granite County from atop his perch in this elegant tree. When the light hits it just right, the boughs glitter in shades of gold. This whimsical interpretation of a mystical moment in the Flint Creek Valley is filled with handmade pine cone ornaments and hand-painted discs, creating a tasteful, gilded centerpiece for any room.

Woodland Warmth with a Touch of Mystical designed by Deb Dauenhauer-Hess, Chris Colligan, Valerie Holzer & Ericka Kuzer and sponsored by The Daily Grind & Broadway Trading Company
Our tree is inspired by our surrounding mountains, forests and wildlifeas nature is mystic in its own way. And….we didn’t forget all the pretty little things that we love to surround ourselves with on the inside of our Mystical Mountain Christmas, so we added some glam and sparkle to the mix!

Santa & His Rainbeers designed by Cathy Smith, Lacey Zinke and Maddy Mason and sponsored by The Philipsburg Brewing Company
Up on the mashtun rainbeers brew
Making all your dreams come true
Down through the kettle with lots of hops
All for Pburg, but not for tots

Ho ho ho, who wouldn’t go? Ho ho ho, who wouldn’t go?
Up to the bar, sip sip sip
Down the hatch, cheers to Saint Nick

Woodland Magic designed by The Enchanted Elves with help from Doug Graybeal Construction and sponsored by Huffman Grocery
The magic of the woodland fairies and animals is timeless and often forgotten.  The “Woodland Magic Tree” is full of fairies, small woodland animals, and gnomes celebrating Christmas. Come and celebrate with these Mystical Mountain dwellers!

Fantastical Dreams, Mystical Lands designed by H&R Thrift and sponsored by The Philipsburg Mail
We are making a mystical tree that will transport us all to another space and place in time. The decorations are of cascading blues, rich purples and pale lavender. Children will be mesmerized and adults will be remembering times past when thoughts were of fantastical dreams, mystical lands, and little else.  

A Mystical Mountain Christmas with the Starlight Cowboy and Cookie Express designed by John Vukonich and Lauren Bouldin with special set up help by Sheryl Meimerstorf and sponsored by The Philipsburg Rotary Club
The theme of ” Mystical Mountain Christmas” has been molded into our tree with various fanciful and fun elements. The representation of the Rotary “Circle” will be obvious in just about all of the decorations. Lauren and I have personally donated some of the quality gifts that we hope become heirlooms and keepsakes for future holiday gatherings and enjoyed by all this holiday season. Lauren’s Painting of ” Winters Company”  (Special Edition Signed Print on Canvas) will be one of the gifts that go with the tree auction along with specialty chocolate chip cookies baked by John. So come and enjoy our tree presentation and use your imagination to see the ” mystical” elements.

Snow Angels Among Us designed by Ruth and Alex McDonald and sponsored by Dee Motors
The mountain angels have decided to grace us with their presence! They bring us the glorious snow that we enjoy every year and they decided to hang out on this fabulous tree for the evening. They’ll soon get back to bring us more snow. Created by two lovers of mountains, snow and the angels!

Mystical Mountain Reveille designed by Sue Huffman, Barbara Clark, Sheila Walden and Karen Petersen and sponsored by Payne West Insurance
November and December is a time when cloudy mists move through the mountains; the air is cold and frost elegantly paints treetops. A magical bugle splits the air, a call of sorts to awaken animals to prepare for survival—a mystical mountain reveille. Owls silently perch in treetops to survey squirrels and chipmunks as they scurry to and fro, stuffing their cheeks now so they can stuff their bellies later. Deer, elk and moose don elegant fur coats as they travel and forage in the forest. Bears gradually meander up rocky hillsides to dig comforting dens for snoring and dreaming. And otters playfully slither in and out of icy waters eating dozens of slippery fish. When snowflakes fall and icy crusts form at the water’s edge, graceful and industrious residents of the north prepare for the long white siege. Auctioned with a night at the “Badboy” cabin on Rock Creek, at Clark’s Ranch. The cabin has kitchenette, bathroom and sleeps 6 people. Check for available dates.  

America designed by Team GCMC and sponsored by Rock Creek Land and Cattle Ranch LLC
For any mountains we have had to climb and conquer for our freedom, each state has a mystical beauty that can be seen with an open heart. If we open our eyes and our hearts we can all see the mystical and magical beauty that surrounds us.

The Hall Tree designed and sponsored by Hall’s Angels: Chelle Schumann, Barbara Conn, Janet Koon. Betty Jo May, Kerry Graybeal and Jenna Polk.
Our tree is made from repurposed local cedar and pine fence posts—we scrounged the local back roads and fence lines for down posts! The ornaments are all hand painted by local artists and friends and depict many Granite County mountain peaks along with other recognizable peaks in Southwestern Montana. The tree will fold down for safe transport.

Mystical Montana Tree designed by Grassroots and sponsored by Myraas Painting/Philipsburg Day Spa
The Montana tree is decorated with all handmade, made in Montana items that vendors from Grassroots have made. Items on the tree include goat milk soap and lotions, many wooden ornaments, greeting cards from our various grassroots artists, horseshoe nail jewelry, room sprays, dream catchers, woven place mats, horseshoe hanger wind chime, western horseshoe hanger, leather pouches, sage sticks and so much more.

The Brawl of the Wild Women designed by Carol Bohrnsen and Company and sponsored by Kaiser House/Snookies
‘Twas the week before “THE BRAWL”
When all through the Granite Clan
Not an athlete was stirring
Not even a Sports Fan

The uniforms were hung by the lockers with care
In hopes that the bidders would soon be there

The teams were nestled all snug in their beds
While Visions of the “BIG WIN” danced in their heads

When out on The Ranch arose such chatters
Donors were raising their hands for something that matters

Away to the tree I flew like a flash
Tore open to find two tickets to “THE BASH”

Now Cats, Now Griz, no matter where you fall
Bid away, bid away, this tree has something for you all!

*Includes two tickets to the 2015 Cat/Griz game.

Cabin Retreat designed by Ashley Roper and sponsored by Skyview Property Owners
Behold a classic rustic tree that looks warm and inviting—with a mix of wood and metal ornaments and a splash of champagne color. This tree makes you feel like you’re in a cabin in the woods. Great for any home or business.

A Little Bit of Heaven designed by Marilee Klaudt and sponsored by Blackfoot Telecommunications Group
The “Mystic Mountain” theme evoked long ago memories of waking up in a mountain cabin to the first skiff of snow falling on autumn leaves. Our designer incorporated those soft fall colors using elegant champagne colored metallic lights, rustic strands of stars and bells, metallic flecked burlap ribbon and vintage muslin balls.  A smattering of Pipp berries, deep red satin balls, inspirational words and a vintage angel completed the look of this gorgeous one of a kind mini tree sure to brighten any spot in your home.  At Blackfoot, we think living in Montana is a little bit of heaven and we are proud to donate this tree to such a wonderful local cause! 

Pink Victorian Christmas designed by The Golden Girls and sponsored by Angelo Cattle Company
Come see this beauty at the auction!

Additional Items:
Some very generous and talented community members have donated other items for the auction. Start your Christmas shopping early.

1. Montana Gold 12 x 18 Canvas Print by Stephanie Burd
From the Artist: “Hiking in the Pintler Mountains, I came upon a beautiful little, spring-filled pond surrounded by golden grasses. This scene captured me and became the inspiration for one of my early watercolors.”

2. “Redneck” handmade wooden tree donated by Redneck Martha

Second Annual Festival of Trees Promises a “Mystical Mountain Christmas”

The Granite County Medical Foundation (GCMF) will host their second annual Granite County Festival of Trees fundraiser on November 13 and 14th. This year’s Event2event features a new venue, The Ranch at Rock Creek, and a new theme, “A Mystical Mountain Christmas.” Like last year’s inaugural event, the Festival will feature 15 community decorator teams, who will design trees to be auctioned live at a festive gala event in order to support local Foundation initiatives. All Granite County residents are invited to attend the Gala Auction on the 14th.

GCMF Chair Mark Ransford said, “We were pleased at the community response to the event last year, and we hope Granite County citizens will come out in support of these talented local artists and health projects. As the Medical Foundation’s major fundraiser, the Festival supports our programs like the Women’s Wellness Brunch, defibrillator purchases, the kid’s summer food program and larger capital projects.”

Many of the aspects of the event eFOT_14_zpse03d15b4cho last year’s inaugural event. Each tree is sponsored, with a donation of $500, by a local business or organization and decorated by a local community member or team. There are also four event-level sponsors who have contributed larger amounts to support the event. This year’s event sponsors are The Ranch at Rock Creek, Blackfoot Telecommunications Group, Granite Pharmacy, Dauenhauer Real Estate-Northwest National and Granite Mountain Bank.7505e99cf57d8a063afd82ed8c41246f

The 2015 event consists of a Decorator’s Night, exclusive to decorating teams and sponsors on November 13th, and a Gala Auction on Saturday, November 14th from six to 10 at The Ranch at Rock Creek. Both events will take place in the Buckle Barn, a new event barn at the local Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star property that hosts weddings, barn dances and festivals.

The Ranch at Rock Creek has contributed to a number of local health projects, such as the purchase of a new generator at the Medical Center. This year, they are increasing their Festival of Trees contribution, providing the event space, sfot_27taff, gourmet food and more to ensure a grand gala evening.

Heather Rue, the Marketing Director at the resort said, “We are pleased to be contributing to the Granite County Medical Foundation’s 2015 Festival of Trees. The Ranch is committed to supporting local organizations and nothing is more integral to improving the community than health education and services. We look forward to welcoming supporters to the Buckle Barn on the 14th!”

In addition to a live auction of expertly designed trees, GCMF will also be recognizing the top teams from the Walktober fitness event and other community members who have contributed to health initiatives throughout the year.fot_31

Shuttles will be available from Drummond and Philipsburg in order to help make the event’s Rock Creek location more accessible. See more details about the event below.

The Philipsburg Brewing Company hosted a Charity Pint Night for the GCMF Festival of Trees on Thursday, October 29th, which included a preview of a decorated tree and a chance to meet the decorators and sponsors. Granite County Medical Foundation Board Member and Festival Committee Member Maria Conn said, “The Festival of Trees gives us a chance to celebrate the progress we’ve made throughout the year. People contribute to community health in so many different ways. We are in awe of the donations of time, money and creativity that fuel the event and make it such a perfect way to kick of the holiday season.”


2014 Festival of Trees

Inaugural Festival of Trees a Blast and Big Success!

The Granite County Medical Foundation’s (GCMF) Festival of Trees raised $20,776.48 for the charity’s granite-county-montananon-profit projects. This result was the culmination of 12 months of planning, 70 separate volunteer, in-kind or monetary donations and over 200 people attending from across Granite County.

The inaugural Festival of Trees was planned after three trees were decorated and auctioned at the GCMF’s 2013 Holiday Party. The 2014 event included a Decorator’s Night on November 19th, a Tree Preview Night on November 20th and a Gala Auction on November 22nd.

During the Decorator’s Night, over 50 people gathered to decorate 16 trees over the course of four hours (with several people working into the night). The Taylor-Knapp Building was bustling as the trees were strung with lights and filled with ornaments, garlands and small presents. At the Tree Preview event on Thursday, community members picked up an auction list, browsed through trees and voted on their favorites.

The Gala Auction garnered the most attendance, with over 150 people joining the celebration. After the Cat-Griz game, attendees enjoyed wine, beer, cocoa and cupcakes. Meanwhile, Executive Chef Josh Drage served two tables full of gourmet hors d’oeuvres, including smoked Seder fish, cabbage and granite-county-medical-foundationpork crostini, cheeses, meats, grilled lettuce, spinach dip and more. Murmurs of “Amazing” and “I wish I hadn’t eaten before I came here” were heard from the crowd.

GCMF Board Member Jodi Oberweiser spoke about the Foundation projects, explaining that event proceeds are coupled with recent grant awards to fund health projects, such as the long-term care facility bed replacement project, the well-child checkup program, the 2015 Women’s Wellness Brunch (February 7, 2015) and providing support for the Granite County Hospital District on an ongoing basis. She encouraged community members to reach out or join the board if they want to get involved in improving health care in Granite County.

The Granite County Medical Foundation is a 501(c)3 charity (EIN: #27-1118145) and a qualified Montana endowment. Donated funds may be eligible for a tax-deduction, less the value of goods received.

Board Member Jim Jenner led the stocking and tree auction, describing and selling over 20 lots. One stocking, donated by Granite Pharmacy, sold for $220, while trees were sold for up to $1,100. Two trees were sold for over $1,000 and seven were sold for over $500. The Ranch at Rock Creek donated an additional $5,000 at the event, in addition to an anonymous donation of $1,000.

festival-of-treesJenner also announced the three award-winning trees, as decided after a two-day community vote. John Vukonich and Lauren Bouldin and The Philipsburg Rotary Club (sponsor) won the award for Best Granite County Tree for their Coming Home to Granite County Tree. Marilee Klaudt and Blackfoot Telecommunications Group (sponsor) won the award for Best Classic Tree for their 60th Anniversary Tree. Tom, Annie and Susie Mullen and The Philipsburg Mail (sponsor) won the award for Most Original Tree for their Holiday Spirits Tree. View photos of all the trees at Facebook.com/GraniteCountyMedicalFoundation or in our movie below.

The event could not have taken place without the help of its talented decorators and valuable sponsors. Event sponsors were The Ranch at Rock Creek, Blackfoot Telecommunications Group, NorthWestern Energy, Shirley Beck and Dale Siegford. Tree sponsors included Huffman Grocery, The Sunshine Station, The Broadway Hotel, Boheme Coffee Shop, The Philipsburg Mail, Angelo Cattle Company, Philipsburg Rotary Club, Discovery Ski Area, Snookies, Skyview Property Owners, Arrowstone Property Owners, Tri-County Tobacco Use Prevention Program, Rock Creek Land and Cattle Ranch LLC and The Philipsburg Brewing Company.

To contact the Granite County Medical Foundation about year-end giving, please write to GCMF at PO Box 401, Philipsburg, MT 59858 or donate using a credit card via PayPal at this link.

We are pleased to announce that the Festival of Trees will be a yearly fundraiser. To reserve your place as a 2015 events sponsor, tree sponsor or decorator, please email the Outreach Direction, Krista Johnson at info @ granitecountymedicalfoundation.org.

Photos by Brittany Bauer

Watch the 2014 Granite Festival of Trees Video: