Lights, charity, action

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Season of giving

Things on Normandeau Crescent are about to get bright. Focusing on #28 but with many of the neighbours being involved, the street is set for its first ever charity Christmas light event. Everyone is invited to come out to enjoy some festive sights with a version of Candy Cane Lane and warm up their hearts in more ways than one.

Catherine Bangel said it was a team effort with a double goal of bringing people together and benefiting charity.

“We said, ‘why don’t we invite St. Albert to come out and check out our holiday lights on our street, grab a hot chocolate and do some cool little community event, and raise funds for Ronald McDonald House, which is near and dear to our hearts?’”

“There’s a lot of houses and great lights and big blow-ups.”

Bangel said that some of the families have benefited from the kindness of Ronald McDonald House located at 7726 107 St. in Edmonton. It’s a home away from home for families with critically ill or injured children who are receiving medical treatment in an Edmonton health care facility.

The event runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m. tonight. Normandeau Crescent is located in between North Ridge Drive and Hogan Road.

More lights, more smiles

If you’re driving around already, why not pop by Elliot Place too? The cul-de-sac right off of Erin Ridge Drive has its ever-popular Christmas lights display going until New Year’s Day. The residents always put on a crowd-pleasing show of bright bulbs and decorations, and always do their level best to make it something that St. Albert can be proud of too, by making it a charity event. They collect non-perishable food items for the St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village.

The donation box is located at 9 Elliot Place. They suggest dropping off items including powdered milk, oatmeal, cold cereal, canned vegetables, pancake mix and syrup, rice, diapers (sizes 5 and 6), juice boxes, granola bars and Enfamil A+ infant formula.

Trees for gifts = giving trees

City staffers, led by the Recreation and Parks department, are hosting their first annual holiday donation drive with two Christmas trees at Servus Credit Union Place and Fountain Park Recreation Centre. Members of the community are asked to decorate the trees with donations of new items of winter clothing including scarves, toques, hats, mittens, gloves and socks.

Drop-off bins are located in front of Guest Services desks at both facilities and items will continue to be collected until Jan. 9. After the drive is done, all items will be delivered to the St. Albert Community Village to be distributed to the social agency’s clients.

All in for Alex still building momentum

The word also came in that Stollery Children’s Hospital received a “very sizeable private donation” in Alex Pasichnyk’s name designated for Child Life Specialty, which works hard to engage kids in activities while they are there for treatments.

Pasichnyk is the 12-year-old girl who has been in total bone marrow failure since the summer, when she was diagnosed with a very rare form of aplastic anemia requiring her to get blood transfusions ever since. She needs to find a matching bone marrow donor, which has odds of one in fourteen million.

A series of bone marrow drives over the last few weeks has resulted in nearly 1,200 new registrants through the OneMatch program. The next drive in Edmonton is on Tuesday at Holy Trinity High School from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You must be healthy and between the ages of 17 and 35 to get your cheek swabbed. You can visit www.OneMatch.ca to have your kit mailed to you as well.

In lieu of cards

MLA Marie Renaud has forgone the tradition of sending out hundreds of holiday cards. Instead, she is offering a better service to humanity by taking the money and making donations to the St. Albert Food Bank and the SAIF (Stop Abuse in Families) Society instead of spending it on paper, printing, and postage

At the same time, she encouraged people to make their own charity donations if they could as well.

Meanwhile both the St. Albert Food Bank and St. Albert Kinettes hamper program are in a double bind. Donations are down and demand is up. To donate to the Kinettes drop off your donation today (Saturday) at the old London Drugs location in Inglewood Square between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. or drop off donations anytime at Firehall #3. Money, gifts and food are appreciated. Hampers are being delivered on Sunday.

Donations to the food bank can be dropped off at St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village at 50 Bellerose Drive. Phone 780-459-0599 for details.

 

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About Author

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.