PORT McNEILL—Hockey, holly and horses lend a helping hand as the Gazette Hamper Fund makes its final push before Christmas hampers are delivered across the North Island on Dec. 21.
More than 500 hamper application have been received from communities from Port Hardy to Woss, including Kingcome Inlet, Guilford and Zeballos. Much of the food and many of the toys to be distributed have come from donations gathered by local organizations and individuals. The remainder, including Christmas turkeys and hams, are purchased through local businesses.
Tonight in Port McNeill, the North Island’s Reinforest Riders equestrian club will hold a Christmas Toy Ride to benefit the Hamper Fund.
Riders will assemble in the Lions Club parking lot to ride out at 6:30 p.m. The group will be riding through town collecting donations of toys, non-perishable food and cash for the Hamper Fund.
The route will traverse Woodland, Haddington, Quatsino Cres., Bayview, Cypress, Cedar St. by the A-Frame Church and Broughton Blvd. before arriving at the Gate House Community Theatre about 7:30 p.m.
“Hot chocolate will be served at the theatre for anyone who would like to come down and join us, drop off a donation or just check out our seasonally decorated horses,” organizer Leanne Jones said.
At approximately 8 p.m. the riders will resume their trip up Pioneer Hill to Chelohsin, Cassiar and back to the Lions Hall.
Club members will be handing out candy along the way and will have support vehicles following to collect donations along the way.
“We hope you can come out, support this cause and help us put a smile on someone’s face on Christmas morning!” said Jones.
Holly is here
Port McNeill resident and green thumb Helen Scott is offering fresh holiday holly sprigs from her large bush, in return for a donation to the Hamper Fund. To get directions and arrange pickup of your holly, call Helen at 250-956-3673.
The North Island Eagles hockey program got its Hamper Fund involvement in high gear this week, with the atom development program collecting food during its game Saturday in Port Alice; the bantams gathering food and toys during a pair of games Saturday and Sunday in Port Hardy; and the midgets raising $162 to go with two tables full of food and toys through their annual Hamper Fund game against the Eagles alumni Sunday in Port McNeill.
Cash for cans
The Port Hardy Return-it Centre is once again offering North Islanders an opportunity to contribute to the Hamper Fund by donating their can and bottle returns to the fund.
Just inform staff at the time of your return that you wish to donate part or all of the amount to the Hamper Fund. Through last weekend, the Return-it Centre had already received nearly $1,600 in donations.
It’s a wrap
Many of the toys destined for deliver this Christmas were gift-wrapped Sunday as Port Hardy’s Barb O’Connor hosted her second annual wrapping party. Nine friends responded to her invitation, each of whom brought a gift to contribute and spent three hours wrapping hamper gifts. On the day, the 11 participants — including O’Connor’s son, Parker — filled a one-ton van with wrapped gifts.
Festival of Wreaths
Port Hardy’s Coastal Community Credit Union will once again be raffling off Christmas Wreaths to benefit the Hamper Fund.
This year, the branch has 14 different wreaths up for grabs — from a dog bone to a fishing wreath and even a martini wreath!
The wreaths were made by staff and every penny goes to the cause.
Entries will be accepted from now until just before Christmas, so pop in and give it your support.