Fund idea takes root

Lyn Skrlac and Lynda Biggs of Port McNeill's Flower Shoppe are making plans for their next event on the North Island.

PORT McNEILL—They haven’t even closed the books on their last fundraiser, and already a pair of Port McNeill businesswomen are making plans for their next event on the North Island.

Lyn Skrlac and Lynda Biggs of Port McNeill’s Flower Shoppe, who recently handed out the awards for their third annual Bras for a Cause event, want to benefit the Gazette Hamper Fund while brightening the holiday season at area businesses and offices.

The pair will soon be approaching local businesses, as well as service groups like the Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce, with hand-printed invitations asking them to place theme-decorated Christmas trees in their establishments.

The public would then be able to go from shop to shop and “vote” on the trees with donations that would be forwarded to the Hamper Fund, which is used to distribute food and toys to needy families at Christmas.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of years, after viewing a display in Victoria,” said Skrlac. “I thought, there’s no reason we can’t do this on a smaller scale.

“We think it will not only benefit the Hamper Fund, but local businesses, as well.”

Skrlac said the Flower Shoppe has always boasted a Christmas tree for the season, and it has always been decorated in a specific theme. She envisions businesses throughout the North Island — certainly in Port McNeill, but she welcomes participation in Port Hardy — with trees sporting themes related to their particular business.

“People do tend to decorate for Christmas, and it’s something that can help them promote their business,” she said. “And it could be a fun thing for shoppers to go from store to store to see each tree.”

A somewhat similar promotion was held at Port Hardy’s Thunderbird Mall for several years, in which businesses were asked to decorate trees that were put on display before being auctioned off. But some participants complained the time and cost of the decorations exceeded the funds raised in the auction, and it fell by the wayside.

Skrlac said her vision shouldn’t have to be expensive. Decorations could be re-used, repurposed or shared. Although she would eventually like to see the trees displayed in a common location, so people could go and peruse the display during the holiday season.

“We want to start small, but eventually work toward a designated space for a display,” she said. “If I get 50 people to do it, I’ll be ecstatic.”

The Bras for a Cause fundraiser for breast cancer research and treatment, meanwhile, will continue this winter with the second annual Victor’s Secret fashion show and party at the Community Hall in Port McNeill.

The event, in which local men vamp on stage in the wildly decorated bras created for the contest, is expected to be held sometime in late January or February of 2013, Skrlac said. Last year, the fashion show brought in more than $6,000, the vast bulk of the sum raised by Bras for a Cause.

 

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