Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation cancels Festival of Trees
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Don’t plan on attending the annual Festival of Trees in downtown Albuquerque this year – it’s canceled.
“It’s not gone forever. It’s gone for now,” said Jennifer Maldonado Greenwood, director of development at the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation.
Maldonado Greenwood confirmed organizers decided to cancel the event earlier this year following significant internal changes at the foundation.
“To put on an event of that size, it takes a significant event committee and a significant size staff,” she said. “The whole staff is brand new. They haven’t been here more than six months, so it really was not logistically possible to put on an event this size in six months with a staff this small.”
The annual event usually transforms the Albuquerque Convention Center into a magical, holiday forest. Previous festivals included up to 100 intricately decorated trees. Former staff members say the event required months of planning and hundreds of volunteers to pull off.
The event was often billed as the foundation’s largest fundraiser. All the proceeds from tree raffles and donations reportedly went directly to the Carrie Tingley Hospital – New Mexico’s only juvenile rehabilitation facility.
“Through this event were able to raise funds to support the work of the hospital to do our programming,” said the foundation’s former executive director in 2021.
Maldonado Greenwood suggested money was another factor involved in the event’s cancellation.
“It was our responsibility to really look into our finances and really look into our programs and evaluate where our finances are going and donor dollars were going,” she said. “That’s how we made the decision.”
Foundation officials would not elaborate on those financial concerns or why the foundation has an entirely new staff.
Maldonado Greenwood says the foundation is already discussing plans for next year’s Festival of Trees.
“We are actively looking at a version of Festival of Trees next year, but that version will be mission driven, directly tied to our programs,” she said.