Giving to those in need at Christmas

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INNISFAIL – The giving spirit continues in Innisfail.

The 22nd annual Charity Check Stop took place Dec. 16 on 50th Street.

Every year the event collects items to give to families and individuals in need at Christmastime.

“Everyone’s having fun and there’s a really great turnout from the town,” said Innisfail RCMP Const. Craig Nelson. “I see them filling up vehicles, so that’s wonderful.”

This year the event raised toys, food, clothing and cash for several local charities including the Innisfail and District Food Bank, the Innisfail and District Christmas Bureau and the Women’s Outreach Society in Red Deer.

“We’re getting a ton of people stopping by. People are very generous,” he said, noting some of the donations that day. “I just saw a car pull up and drop off food, clothes, and then on top of that gave a big cash donation as well.

“The town’s been amazing,” he added, noting the sunny and milder weather this year.

Nelson pointed to the community effort that helps make the Charity Check Stop a success every year.

That effort includes members of Innisfail RCMP, Innisfail EMS and the Innisfail Fire Department, as well as many volunteers from the food bank, Christmas bureau, the Knee Hill Valley 4-H Club and the Innisfail Baptist Youth Group.

In addition, a DJ played Christmas music while Santa Claus was in attendance giving out candy canes. As always, Safety Bear welcomed drivers.

“We have a ton of volunteers from different places. Everyone is volunteering their time,” said Nelson. “It’s amazing to see. Not only are people making donations, but also we have volunteers coming out and donating their time and energy.

“It’s been a huge joint effort.”

Lynn Holinski, a volunteer with the Christmas bureau, was also pleased to see the giving spirit in Innisfail last Saturday.

“The support is always great. This community is very generous,” said Holinski. “We couldn’t do it without them.

“The weather is good so it makes it nicer for people to come out and drive through,” she added. “It’s an amazing event for the Christmas bureau, for the food bank and for the community.”

Lynn Holinski, Innisfail Christmas Bureau

“It’s an amazing event for the Christmas bureau, for the food bank and for the community.”

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Kristine Jean

Kristine Jean is a reporter with the Innisfail Province, joining the newspaper in 2013. She covers Penhold municipal politics, news and community events as well as sports in and around the town as well as in Innisfail.