Skip to content

St. Albert city employee has ball with fundraiser

Christmas ornaments to raise cash for food bank
HEY THAT’S YOU — City of St. Albert employee Steve Farrell hangs a decorative photo ball on the big tree at St. Albert Place on Nov. 30, 2023. Farrell is selling the balls through the city library’s front desk to raise money for the food bank. KEVIN MA/St. Albert Gazette

St. Albert residents have a chance to hang their mugs in St. Albert Place this month by taking part in a food bank fundraiser.

St. Albert residents may have noticed a large placard of The Grinch, accompanied by a strange poem in the lobby of St. Albert Place last week. Close inspection of the nearby giant Christmas tree (which this year sports a new skirt sewn by the St. Albert Quilters’ Guild) would have revealed many transparent orbs containing pictures of city residents, including Mayor Cathy Heron.

These are the works of city employee Steve Farrell, building operator for St. Albert Place and the one responsible for putting up its Christmas decorations. Farrell is selling ornamental Christmas picture balls at the St. Albert Public Library’s front desk, the proceeds of which he will donate to the St. Albert Food Bank later this month.

Farrell said he got the idea for the fundraiser last year after he got a grocery gift card through a union event.

“I thought, ‘Other people need this more than I do,’ and went over to the food bank and said, ‘Here you go.’”

This year, Farrell said he decided to get a bunch of Christmas balls from the Dollar Store and use them in a food bank fundraiser. As of Nov. 27, anyone who donates at least $5 to the food bank at the library’s front desk gets a ball. Donors can put pictures of themselves in the balls to hang at home or on the big tree in the St. Albert Place lobby.

“Everybody’s getting their picture up there,” Farrell said, including St. Albert CAO William Fletcher and other city staff members.

Farrell said any profits from the ball sales (each ball costs $1.50) will go into grocery gift cards he will give to the St. Albert Food Bank later this month. He had raised $65 as of Nov. 30, and had no particular goal in mind for the fundraiser.

Farrell said it is important to support families in need this winter given the economic climate, noting his own family once needed support from a food drive.

Farrell said the fundraiser will run until sometime before Christmas, depending on when the food bank needs the gift cards.

Residents can also donate directly to the St. Albert Food Bank at and at donation bins around town.

Kevin Ma

About the Author: Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.
Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks