On Tuesday, Lakeland Connect held its inaugural food drive to benefit the Knights of Columbus Christmas Hamper program at Sobey’s in Bonnyville. With the help of the volunteer fire fighters from the Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority, players from the Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs, B&R Eckel’s Transport and Santa, the event was a huge success. Thanks to the generous donations of shoppers, 1,360 lbs of food and $1,283 in cash and gift cards were donated during the four hour event.
Chairperson of the Knights of Columbus Christmas Hamper program, Gene Sobolewski says the food drive was, “tremendous. We’ll be able to help a lot of families this year.” Just a few weeks previous, Sobolewski put the call out to the community stating that donations were on the low side the year before and the organization was worried they may be low again. The call put Lakeland Connect to action, says Jena Colbourne, “we knew we wanted to do something and quickly called up Fred at Sobey’s. He was more than happy to help us out and even had his staff prepare pre-made donation bags; which made it very easy for people to donate.”
“We would like to thank everyone who came out and donated. The Knights of Columbus called and the community answered!” The program helped over 250 families last year, says Colbourne, “this community really shines when they are needed. It was great to see so many people add an extra $10 to their groceries to give back. Each donation will go so far to help those in need.” The Christmas Hamper program provides a Christmas dinner for families who may not otherwise have one; as well with the donations from the food drive, they are able to give extra food so people do not need to worry during the holiday season. “We want to thank all our volunteers, the fire fighters, the Pontiacs, B&R Eckel’s and Santa!”
The Knights of Columbus also organize the Santa’s Elves program, with Bonnyville Centralized High School (BCHS). Last week, BCHS notified Lakeland Connect that toy donations were lower than in previous years. They are hoping to get a strong boost before the program cut-off, which is at the end of the week. If you see a red “Santa’s Elves” bin in Bonnyville you can place an unwrapped, new toy in it. Then the BCHS elves will wrap the toys for Santa to deliver to the good boys and girls.
Ducharme Motors is one of the drop-off locations and has pledge to double any donations made at the dealership up to December 8th.