Holiday Spirit Alive And Well At The University Hospital Foundation’s Virtual Festival Of Trees

More than $400,000 was raised to support Alzheimer’s disease research at the University of Alberta

Edmonton, AB – December 30, 2020 – Despite a difficult year, Edmontonians have embraced the holiday spirit and continue to show compassion by giving back and supporting healthcare in their community. By purchasing experiences and items through the University Hospital Foundation’s Virtual Festival of Trees, more than $400,000 has been raised for Alzheimer’s disease research.

This year, the University Hospital Foundation’s Festival of Trees transformed to provide personal, virtual experiences that could be enjoyed in the comfort and safety of people’s homes, due to COVID-19 restrictions. There were activities for Festival lovers of all ages, including one-on-one or group video visits with Santa, Story Time with Mrs. Claus, an online auction featuring the Festival’s renowned Christmas trees, Festival in a Box for children or adults – where the spirit of Festival is delivered right to the doorstep, and an online 50/50.

The event was made possible with support from dedicated volunteers, who brainstormed and implemented creative and innovative fundraising ideas, and great sponsors including Sherrick Management, Shelley & Guy Scott Family Foundation, Chegwin Point at Creekwood Collections, Cantiro Homes, Enbridge, Tony & Daniela Franceschini Family Fund, and Stahl Peterbilt. Thousands of people took part in the virtual events or contributed through the 50/50. Proceeds from these purchases will go to the University Hospital Foundation in support of Alzheimer’s research at the University of Alberta.

“We want to express our sincere appreciation to all of the University Hospital Foundation’s volunteers, sponsors, donors, and everyone who participated in the Festival of Trees virtual events and 50/50. We hope that this year’s Festival created some holiday magic at the end of an extremely difficult year,” said Dr. Jodi L. Abbott, President & CEO of the University Hospital Foundation. “The funds raised will help University of Alberta researchers advance their promising treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, which could completely change the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s.”

Researchers at the University of Alberta have found a way to restore memory in mice that develop Alzheimer’s disease. Support from the Festival of Trees will help them begin human clinical trials sooner, and move much closer to neutralizing the devastating impact of Alzheimer’s disease.

This research could impact millions of people all over the world. In Alberta alone, it is estimated that 50,000 people have Alzheimer’s disease, and based on recent population trends, that number is only going to increase.

Since 1985, the University Hospital Foundation’s Festival of Trees has served as one of the Edmonton area’s largest and most cherished holiday celebrations and has raised over $22 million for the University of Alberta Hospital, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, Kaye Edmonton Clinic and University of Alberta. This kick-off to the holidays brings together the community to enjoy the spirit of Christmas – all to raise money to support healthcare for Albertans. Visit to learn more.

Past donor support has had a major impact on every area of healthcare provided at the University of Alberta Hospital site, from heart care, including providing advanced life support equipment and the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU) at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, to brain care, and trauma and emergency care. Last year, funds raised brought Osseointegration, the most advanced procedure in the world for attaching prosthetic limbs, to Edmonton, making the University of Alberta Hospital the first hospital in Western Canada to provide the procedure.

The University Hospital Foundation truly appreciates the incredible support for Festival of Trees from our volunteers and the community, and look forward to welcoming them back in the future.

University Hospital Foundation

The University Hospital Foundation raises and manages funds to advance patient care, research and healthcare innovation at the University of Alberta Hospital, the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and the Kaye Edmonton Clinic, as well as research at the University of Alberta and care in the community though Alberta Health Services (AHS). For more information visit

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