Letter: Thank you for continued support of Fraser Ltd's annual Festival of Trees

Sandra Leyland, CEO and president of Fraser Ltd., writes, "As of this year 3,160 families and individuals have had a touch of Christmas spirit due to the collaborative efforts of so many. It took 43 agencies to work this magic.

Sandra Leyland
Sandra Leyland
Dave Wallis / The Forum
We are part of The Trust Project.

This year we celebrate 22 years of fun and laughter, tears and great joy. Emotions run high during the holidays and the Festival of Trees is no exception. It’s become a tradition for many of us at Fraser and from our community to participate not only in the beautiful display of trees, but also the two special events, To All A Good Night originally held at Essentia and Cookies with the Claus family now at the Fargodome annually on Black Friday.

We are humbled by the 3,790 volunteers from near and far who made it happen. Volunteers come in all forms – family, employees, friends and those soon to become our friends. The opportunity to volunteer is available to all ages and levels of expertise.

There are those we remember who started this journey with us and have now left us. Their presence remains with us. Those new to this holiday tradition are welcomed and invited to grow with us. As they say, "the best is yet to be!"

The festival sponsors number 976 over the past 22 years and are prime examples of the philanthropic spirit embraced by our community. The generosity of our business community and individual donors makes it possible for Fraser to provide services to 1,500 plus individuals each year. The lives of children, youth and adults and their families are touched through our programs, services and supports because of our sponsors. We hope they recognize how much their generosity has helped us make a difference. As they say, "it takes a village!"

Twenty-two years ago we started with less than 100 trees to distribute to those who would otherwise not have a tree for the holidays. As of this year 3,160 families and individuals have had a touch of Christmas spirit due to the collaborative efforts of so many. It took 43 agencies to work this magic. Colleagues and competitors alike, come together to make it happen. As Tiny Tim said, "God bless us everyone."


Thank you to the Fraser employees, some for all 22 years who have continued to give up part of their Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and crawl on the concrete ground to fix tree skirts and make sure the lights will work. With very little complaining I should add…..

There is no statistic available to measure my affection and dedication to them, new and tenured employees alike. They continue to be that flock of geese I first referenced them to be at our first event: "When one of us tires and falls back, the next one flies into formation." Our organizational value of resilience is well-lived at Fraser, and we continue forward.

Statistics and outcomes are typically the measure of a nonprofit’s success. Today we give credit where credit is due and thank each of you for your part in bringing joy to others.

As we say at Fraser, "We cannot do it without you!"

Thank you, cheers and Merry Christmas!

Sandra Leyland is CEO and president of Fraser Ltd.

What To Read Next
Fargo resident Hardy Koenig writes that columnist Tony Bender has a way of making him laugh and cry.
Marking his last year of Catholic Schools Week, Giovanni Nasello, a senior and the student body president at Shanley High school, shares his appreciation for his teachers, classmates and the JPII Catholic Schools community.
Deborah Seaberg writes, "Religion is personal and should stay that way. In your home and in your church. Not in the government that affects all people and not just Christians.'
ND House Majority Leader Mike Lefor writes, "The legislation will update the law to create opportunities that directly support our farmers, not compete with them."