On behalf of Country Meadows Roger Weseens annual Christmas breakfast, I would like to thank you guys for your generous donations to the charity breakfast. We raised over $5510 from 82 members including some snowbirds. After we paid for the breakfast ($1295.68) and Christmas dinners ($739.20), we were able to provide Christmas dinners for ten families this year. We had $3475.12 left to spend on six of the families. We supplied them with household goods, clothes, gifts and toys for the children. We also had approx. 900 lbs. of non-perishable food stuff to give to these six families. The names of all the families we help are provided to us by the Salvation Army. This year we were up on cash donations but down on non-perishable food stuff.
Among the people we helped were an emigrant family from Peru, a Syrian refugee family, a single mum with two kids and grandparents from Asia, a family with 3 young kids whose husband is receiving treatment at VGH for leukemia and a single First Nations mum with three kids as well as a number of other families headed by single mothers.
Here are the details of the total number of families and kids:
21 kids ages from 1 month to 15 years
4 full families i.e. mother & father
1 single mum with kids & grandparents
4 single mums, each with one kid
I would also like to thank a few people who went above and beyond helping me out.
First, the people who do the interviewing and buy the gifts and toys and have done so for a number of years. You may notice I’ve put the wife’s name first and that’s because the club and I don’t get a chance to thank them for it.
Paulette & John O’Connell, Jane & Dennis Campbell their family members who have done a fantastic job for a number of years and I’m hoping I can rely on them again next year.
This year one of the emigrant families was from Peru and although their English was better than my Spanish (not much better) when I spoke to him on the phone it was hard for both of us to understand one another. So, when I asked at the breakfast if any one could speak the language, up stands a guy who spends his winters in Mexico where he has become proficient in Spanish, Bob Brown, who then stepped up and helped us out with translation. Thanks to Bob for also distributing raffle tickets and collecting cash for the club’s Prostrate cancer charity.
Janet Cowley. Janet is a member of the women’s golf club at Country Meadows and is the wife of Tony Cowley of this club, Tony and Janet agreed to do the interview and buy gifts for the family but needed some one to show them the ropes. Enter Terry Greenslade; then unfortunately Tony had to drop out so Janet and Bonnie, Terry’s wife, carried on and did a dam good job. By the way Tony did help with the delivery, he will do anything to get his picture in the paper.
We must not forget the old farts who turn up every year to do the delivery: Lorne Carney, Roy Lawson, Herb Jagger and Roy McKelvie who deliver all the Christmas meals to the single families.
Thank you to all who helped, even if I have not mentioned you by name, I want you to know how much we value your help in getting this project successfully completed each year.
Unfortunately, some members tell me that they may not be able to make it this Christmas so we will still need new volunteers.
And last, but not least, a special story.
At the beginning of last year Fraser Howitt told me he had an old bike he would like to give to the Christmas charity. I thought its probably going to need some work done to it. Anyway, he bought the bike to ride around Richmond dikes, then he sold his house and moved to some god forsaken place called Surrey where they have hills and that just about did him in. Believe it or not, Fraser took the bike in to a shop, had them service it, tires / brakes / gears and even replaced the seat. By the time they had finished with it, it looked brand new.
That bike went to the single mum with the 15year old boy. The guys doing the delivery tell me the mother became very emotional when they gave it to her.
I can assure you that the families we help over the holiday period are most appreciative of your help, especially the children.
Gentlemen once again on behalf of the families, thank you for your generous support.