Hundreds of bright, metallic Easter eggs now hang from a tree on Main Street in Aberdeen, Sask.
The ‘miracle tree’ was created as a fundraiser for the Aberdeen Christmas Miracles which help the community’s less fortunate.
Committee member Marcea Malinowski said she bought a small Easter tree for her children a couple years ago and decided to combine her love of the German tradition with the need to raise money.
“I Googled it and this massive tree came up and it has like 10,000 eggs on it and I went ‘oh my god, is that every beautiful,'” she said.
In December, the Christmas miracles helped several families through tough times, including a family of five who lost those home to a fire on Christmas Eve. The number of families, and the withdrawal of their main corporate sponsor stretched the group’s resources thin and they needed a way to raise money for next year.
Malinowski said they had never done a fundraiser before but the idea for an Easter tree quickly became a favourite. The group bought more than a thousand eggs in seven colours. Each colour represented a different sub group withing the community and those groups were asked to raise money for their coloured egg in a friendly competition.
– Yellow represented the Town of Aberdeen,
– Orange was for the RM of Aberdeen,
– Glow in the dark represented students, teachers and school staff,
– Blue was for local clubs, purple for local businesses,
– Pink was for first responders, churches, Christmas Miracle and the library
– Gold was a memorial egg.
Malinowski said fundraising got off to a slow start on March 1, but the friendly competition soon started to take root in the community.
“The first week, nobody really knew what we were doing. We put up 150 eggs and you couldn’t really tell,” she said. “Then, all of a sudden, people started egging each other on and we got to 698. We did the bottom half of the tree and everybody kind of went ‘oh my god, this looks good.’ Then next week we sold 1,000.”
Malinowski posted about the tree on a photography Facebook group and soon, the tree garnered international attention. Donors from Ottawa, California, New Jersey and even South Africa began asking about the tree and soon all the eggs were spoken for and the group has raised around $1,800.
“They’re all just totally fascinated with this tree,” Malinowski said.
The group accepts donations all year and are happy their fundraiser gamble paid off. They hope to buy 1,100 more eggs and have a children’s Easter bush in addition to the tree next year.