hand in water' The Veins of Life
Watershed Society


 Once again, the Veins of Life Watershed Society participated in the annual Christmas tree decorating competition at The Empress Hotel, in support of B.C. Children’s Hospital.  As was the case last year, the Vein’s tree was sponsored by the folks at Chek 6 News.  In total, there were 43 participants in the event.  Trees were judged on the basis of creativity, team spirit, and “bribes” of toys and cash donations to the Children’s Hospital.  Among the judges was Victoria’s mayor Alan Lowe. 
Figure 1.  Judges accepting bribes from the Veins of Life decorating crew.

Due to the Vein’s of Life non-profit nature, we were unable to sway the judges with exorbitant bribes, although, we were able to donate a children’s book and some finger-puppets. However, they were clearly impressed by the creativity of our tree, and the team spirit of our crew.  Our theme was watershed-centered, with streams and rainbow trout running down the tree towards the base where we created a beach with sand and shells.  A singing big-mouth bass completed the scene at the base of the tree. Our initial goal had been to create a mountain at the top, from which the streams were to have originated.  However, technical difficulties ensued, and our mountain turned into a mound of tinsel perched atop the tree.  Team leader David was not amused, due to his extreme case of tinsel-phobia. 

Figure 2.  The finished Christmas tree.

All of the teams had from 4 to 6pm to decorate their trees.  During this time, the various groups of judges circulated, collecting bribes.  After 6 o’clock the judges came around and made their final decisions, to be announced later on in the evening.  At six, The Empress opened the doors to their Crystal Ballroom where a buffet style dinner was served to all the participants.  The judges announced their winners which consisted of Broadmead Pharmasave (First Place), the P.A.C.E. group (Second), and The Newsgroup (Third). Last on the program a pianist/singer entertained the group with Christmas carols followed by an ensemble piece including more carols and some original songs performed by the Sooke choir. 

Figure 3.  The Sooke school choir performing Christmas carols.

The Christmas trees will be displayed at The Empress Hotel until January 3rd where the public is invited to vote for their favorite trees with a two-dollar donation to the Children’s Hospital.  Vote for the Veins of Life Watershed Society!!!!!! 

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