About the
Fantasy of Trees

Our History

The Fantasy of Trees has been a Rotary Club of Grimsby annual fund-raiser for 23 years. We are members of Rotary International: we are people in action, where neighbours, friends and problem-solvers share ideas, join leaders, and take action to create lasting change. With over 1.2 million members and 35,000 clubs around the world, we are always working to better our world. We are both an international organization and a local community leader. We are dedicated to change in our own backyards and across the world. Find out more at www.rotary.org.

The Rotary Club of Grimsby is part of District 7090. We have contributed to local causes and projects since our founding in 1976 in Grimsby. The Fantasy of Trees is our signature event to raise funds for local charities supporting local residents.

What We Do

The Fantasy of Trees has been an annual Rotary Club of Grimsby event for 23 years, originated by the event`s founders – Grimsby Rotary members, Bob and Lois Gowans. The Grimsby Museum is decorated with an incredible display of Christmas trees, wreaths and other seasonal items. Fundraising is done with a lottery raffle for the displayed items, with additional monies raised through online auctions. The FOT event proceeds are used to support local charities and Rotary causes.

Each year, the FOT event traditionally starts in late November and ends in early December. This gives tree or wreath winners enough time to set up their XMAS winnings in their own homes or front doors well in advance of the Christmas season. This year`s dates are Thursday, Nov 23rd to Sunday, Dec 3rd. Raffle winners are chosen on Monday, Dec 4th and winners can pick up their items at the Museum the same week.

The FOT is a FREE-ADMISSION family event, with no obligation to purchase raffle tickets or to bid online. Not only do hundreds of families attend, but several community organizations such as long-care homes and institutions supporting the disabled arrange for their residents to attend too.

There are several avenues for FOT participation. Sponsors can support the event by sponsoring an XMAS tree that they can themselves decorate or have Rotary decorate. They can sponsor wreaths or decorative outdoor pots (urns), or donate an item of their choice – all of which will be used in the raffle or in an online auction. Or, you can make a cash donation towards decorations or other item purchases needed to prepare the event. You can also make an in-kind donation of your organization`s services. Or, you can even sponsor our Santa Day, when Santa makes an early visit to the Museum for photos and to hear children`s XMAS requests.

Our Team

Some of the people who made Fantasy of Trees come to life this year.

Rotary Club of Grimsby 2023-2024 President

Gerry Vandermolen

FOT Team-Lead

Jim Noordermeer

Decorating Team

Joan Whitson
Kerry Vandermolen


Jim Howden

Local Charities We Help

The Rotary Club of Grimsby has contributed to various local causes and projects for 50 years in the Town of Grimsby, raising funds for local charities that support local residents. The Fantasy of Trees is the club’s signature annual event and the raffle proceeds go to help 11 local registered charities.
  • Community Living – Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara
  • Foundation of Resources for Teens (FORT) – West Niagara
  • Gillian’s Place – West Niagara
  • Grimsby Affordable Housing (YWCA)
  • McNally House Hospice
  • Grimsby Life Center Ministries
  • West Lincoln Memorial Hospital Auxiliary
  • Niagara West Adult Learning Centre 
  • West Niagara Palliative Care Services (Rose Cottage Visiting Volunteers)
  • GAMRU South Shore Search and Rescue

In addition, Santa and Mrs. Claus select a recipient for a Rotary Club donation in recognition of their November visit to see the children of Grimsby and for listening to their early holiday requests.

Media Gallery

Photography throughout the many years of Fantasy of Trees