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    Categories: Volunteers & Charity

Warmth for the winter please

Grocery shopper Cat Fontaine of St. Albert hand over food and a handshake to Pte. Alex Zimmerling of Edmonton Garrison as he and fellow soldier Cpl. Jean-Pierre Bessette manned this army support vehicle outside Save On Foods on the south end of the Trail in St. Albert December 2, 2017. Edmonton Garrison had graciously agreed to help put on a Stuff-a-Truck event at both Save On Food stores with two big support vehicles and soldiers to man them. They then moved the food to the Food Bank where the Merchants Hockey team helped unload.

Despite the recent respite from the cold winter, it’s still out there and it’ll come back sooner or later. That’s why people are being asked to donate warm winter items to the United Way’s Coats for Kids & Families, which launched yesterday morning.

“It’s hard to imagine enduring our winter months without the appropriate clothing, but for many people living in poverty in our community, that is a cold, harsh reality,” said Jennifer Herrick, the organization’s director of engagement marketing.

It’s an important program that offered more than 6,800 coats last year alone and the demand has only gone up since then.

The program, now in its 26th year, accepts new and gently used winter items (including warm coats, toques, and mitts) for men, women and children throughout the metropolitan Edmonton region. Donations can be dropped off at participating Page The Cleaner locations until Jan. 31, 2018.

“Working with the generosity of our partners and the people in the capital region, we will work to ensure that no one is left out in the cold.”

Oil Kings fans can also bring their winter items to Sunday’s game at Rogers Place. All donors will receive a pair of vouchers for the Jan. 1 game against the Calgary Hitmen.

Visit www.coatsforkidsandfamilies.ca to learn more.

Army trucks stuffed

The Stuff-a-Truck event on Saturday was a big hit with Save-On Foods shoppers, who brought in nearly 4,000 kg of non-perishable food donations. CFB Edmonton loaned the services of some military personnel to help draw more attention to the large green service vehicles. Later, members of the Merchants hockey team greeted the trucks, unloading all that weight at the St. Albert Food Bank. “All in all, a great day,” said Suzan Krecsy, the organization’s executive director.

Military might meets pancake glory

CFB Edmonton was the site of a rare display of tactical prowess when Private Javier Cruz won the base’s pancake eating contest last Thursday. The annual chowdown competition marked the end of the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign. The 3rd Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton United Way Committee put on the fundraiser with $1,300 raised just from pancake sales during the breakfast portion of the morning’s festivities. A 50/50 draw and an Oilers jersey auction brought in another $1,000 for the charity. There was no official word on how much syrup Pte. Cruz required to get through his stack of flapjacks.

Singin’ for two causes

Morinville’s own Melissa Majeau will be one of more than 10 local performers belting out their favourite Christmas carols and other rockin’ tunes for YEG Artists Give Back this Sunday. On the Rocks is hosting the fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern Alberta as well as Boyle Street Community Services.

Joining her will be singers and bands including Andrew Scott, Krissy Feniak, Julie Jonas, Celeigh Cardinal, Daniel Bourbonnais, Harry Wojdak, The Dice Cubes, and Rott’n Dan and the Lightning Child.

The cover charge is $10 and all money will be split between the two charities. There will also be a turkey dinner option for another $10 to help fill up the coffers. Attendees are asked to bring in new or lightly used clothing to donate as well.

The event starts at 8 p.m. on Dec. 10. On The Rocks is located at 11740 Jasper Ave. in Edmonton.

All in for Alex keeps growing

The bone marrow registry has been given some major boosts recently with the series of All in for Alex events. There were 326 registrants in St. Albert, 267 more at Grant MacEwan University, and another 374 at the University of Alberta during a week-long 1000 Swabs campaign.

All told, that makes 967 new names on the OneMatch list to become potential bone marrow donors for people like St. Albert’s Alex Pasichnyk, the 12-year-old who has been in total bone marrow failure since June. She needs blood transfusions twice a week just to get by but she needs to find a match for a bone marrow transplant, just like the approximately 800 Canadians on the registry.

One more clinic is set for Archbishop Jordan Catholic High School in Sherwood Park next Tuesday but you can always get your cheek swab kit mailed out to you if you’re between 17 and 35. Visit www.onematch.ca for more.

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.