Kinettes deliver last hampers

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Annual drive to help less fortunate winds up for the season

It all sounds so much like another major delivery effort that happens at this time every year.

During a much welcome break in the otherwise bitter spell of winter weather last week, the St. Albert Kinettes and all of their volunteers delivered slightly fewer than 200 hampers, a comparable number to previous years. It was the culmination of another year of planning, a few weeks of anticipation and then finally, a few days of frenzied activity. The collection campaign began with the kickoff on Nov. 28 and ended with all of the donations being sorted and compiled into hampers before being delivered to the recipients by last Thursday.

Although there are only a handful of actual members belonging to the service organization, this immense effort was all done with the help of an astounding number of volunteers, more than one for every hamper.

Karen Mehok, the campaign’s co-ordinator for the Kinettes, expressed her thanks for all of the support the annual drive received from the community. She said the whole process went like clockwork.

“[The hampers] went awesome, absolutely awesome!” she said, calling the event a success. The Dec. 12th Fill-a-Bus event was a disappointment, however, but Mehok blamed the decreased community response on Jack Frost.

“It was a brutally cold day sitting on those buses. A lot of people weren’t out shopping that Saturday.”

Although she couldn’t thank everyone personally, she did make a few special mentions to the Gold Dust Casino, the St. Albert Gazette, the Edmonton Potato Growers Association and Dave Williams for large donations of turkeys, hams, potatoes and toys. She also thanked Grandin Mall and St. Albert Centre for their support. Of course, she also gave high praise to the army of volunteers.

“They’re the ones who brought this all together for us. It was just amazing how things got done. It was so quick.”

She added that there were so many people who wanted to help, she even had to turn some away. Altogether she figured there were approximately 250 volunteers on the crew for four days of work. “Everything was done. Holy crow! The people that we had show up to deliver on Wednesday and Thursday nights was just amazing.”

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Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.