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Tree raffle raises $3,400 for the Boys, Girls Club

December 13, 2001|By MARIO RENTERIA, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — A recent raffle awarded 15 Imperial Valley families decorated Christmas trees to enjoy during the holiday season.

The Brawley Boys and Girls Club and the city Parks and Recreation Department staged a Christmas tree raffle Sunday to raise funds for youth programs.

The 15 trees were decorated with different themes, including patriotic, snowmen, Beanie Babies, angels, fruit and more.

"It went very well," said Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Judy Chilcott.

She said the raffle raised about $3,400 but the gross gain after expenses was about $1,200.

She said the money will be split with the city of Brawley Parks and Recreation Department.

She hopes to stage the event next year with more trees and hopes to find a bigger place to showcase the trees to the public.

"More people want to be involved and we hope to make it a tradition," she said. "I think we could have sold more tickets if we started earlier.

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"It was pretty exciting and I think it will be bigger next year," she said.

Chilcott said she was thrilled when one of the trees was won by Breann Garcia, 3, who was recently released from the Children's Hospital in San Diego after being diagnosed with a rare life-threatening calcium deficiency.

The girl's mother, Ann Garcia of Brawley, said, "I was so excited. It was like the one thing she wanted."

The tree the girl was given was the Beanie Baby tree.

"She was so excited when she saw it because of the Beanie Babies. The tree also had little bags of cookies and M&M's," said Garcia.

"It was a gorgeous tree," Garcia added.

Garcia said her daughter doesn't know she won the Beanie Baby tree yet.

Garcia said she and her husband took off all the Beanie Babies and will give them to Breanne either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Garcia said her daughter's condition is improving.

>>Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3435.

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