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Christmas Tree Elegance raffle for Spokane Symphony postponed amid surge in COVID-19 cases

UPDATED: Sun., Nov. 22, 2020

Spokane Symphony’s Jorge Luis Uzcåtegui conducts the national anthem during the fourth and fifth grade concert on Nov. 20, 2019, at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.  (Dan Pelle/The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane Symphony’s Jorge Luis Uzcåtegui conducts the national anthem during the fourth and fifth grade concert on Nov. 20, 2019, at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox. (Dan Pelle/The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane Symphony Associates members were determined to make their Christmas Tree Elegance event work this year.

Earlier this month, they were planning with the Spokane Regional Health District to maximize social distancing at their Christmas tree browsing event, said Annie Matlow, spokesperson for the nonprofit.

Each year, the event raises around $400,000 for the Spokane Symphony based on sales of $1 raffle tickets. The prizes are “fabulously” decorated trees, Matlow said, each coming with a lot of gifts that amount to about $5,000.

Last year, volunteers staged 18 trees at corresponding lots at the Historic Davenport Hotel and River Park Square and raised around $423,000 for the Spokane Symphony, Matlow said.

As COVID cases continue to surge in Spokane, though, the planning committee for the event had to postpone it. They’re hoping to pull off a COVID Christmas event perhaps in July, she said.

“It’s a huge deal,” Matlow said. “The volunteers have been working on this since last January and full-on for the last eight weeks with the final details.”

To offset the blow to the symphony, Matlow said some people have chosen to donate the money they planned to spend on raffle tickets.

People who wish to donate can do so at spokanesymphonyassoc.org or by sending a check to Spokane Symphony Associates at P.O. Box 365 in Spokane, 99210.

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