Providence Festival of Trees magic brings hope of cancer research miracles

December 29, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. — The 30th anniversary of the Providence Festival of Trees may prove miraculous for cancer patients. The annual event raised more than $1 million, and thousands of Portland residents rang in the holiday season by attending the public shows and gala. 
A significant portion of the money raised came during a special appeal on the night of the gala. Those attending gave a record $580,000, which goes to funding the investigative teams, technology, services and trials at Providence Cancer Center and for patients.

Two significant donations came early in the evening. Joan Tate Allen of Windermere Foundation announced a gift of $100,000 – to which every Windemere Cronin & Caplan Realty Group agent and employee had donated. Volunteers at Providence Portland Medical Center also made a gift of $100,000, which was generated by the proceeds of the gift shop that they operate.

This year’s honorary co-chairs were Charles J. Swindells, former United States Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, and his wife Caroline. The former ambassador chaired the first festival three decades ago. He was part of a group from Portland that traveled to Salt Lake City to learn about that community’s festival. They brought the idea home and began the tradition that has lasted three decades, raising $10 million over 30 years in support of Providence programs serving the poor and vulnerable.

In addition to cancer research, proceeds from this year’s event benefited Providence Child Center, a leader in caring for children with disabilities in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, and Providence Medication Assistance Program, which helps provide medication for the elderly  and other individuals with limited financial means.

View the video from the Providence Festival of Trees Gala. 

Read more about the event on


Providence Health & Services in Oregon, ranked as the seventh most integrated health care system in the nation, offers a comprehensive array of health and education services through its eight hospitals, medical clinics, health plans, long-term care facilities and home health services. With more than 17,000 employees, Providence is the state’s largest private employer.