The Gala Event of the Year was held Saturday night at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.

This year's Festival of Trees raised over $173,000 to help patients at the Dr. F.H. Wigmore Regional Hospital. Funds raised will stay in Moose Jaw to help patients requiring surgery and laboratory services.

After pulling off two "virtual" festivals in 2020 and 2021, volunteers and staff at the Moose Jaw Health Foundation were very excited to host an in-person event once again.

"It goes without saying, the last three years have been really, really tough on people. Festival means something in this community, it's something special. It has a certain magic to it," said Kelly McElree, executive director of the Moose Jaw Health Foundation. "It was so good to see people just getting together again. There was just general joy that they had. It's been so tough on the health care sector and to see so many volunteers, nursing staff, that have been stretched to the limit and they came out and volunteered. It's hard to describe. Just thank you to the community for doing that."

This year's event featured nine trees that were auctioned off in addition to several other items that were up for bids.

The Festival of Trees has raised over $4.5 million over its 31-year history.