CHESTERMERE – Last year, Christmas With Dignity hosted the first annual “Christmas on the Lake” gingerbread house decorating contest and auction.
The event will return this year on Dec. 17 and will take place at town hall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Organizers are hoping to see even bigger and better gingerbread creations this year, as well as an increase in entries.
There will be four categories for the gingerbread house contest: age seven and under, eight to 12-years-old, 13 to 17-years-old, and adult. Gingerbread houses can be dropped off on Friday, Dec. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at town hall.
Besides the contest, there will also be a silent auction and a special “Christmas store” for kids ages four and up, where they can shop for holiday gifts for family members. The items will be new or gently used, and will be offered for a minimal price.
Santa’s Christmas Grotto will also be held in the Library from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For those who aren’t creative with icing and gingerbread, there are other ways to support Christmas With Dignity, and in some ways, their dollars can be doubled.
The charity is once again partnering with the Chestermere Regional Food Bank, and any personal cheque that is made out to the Food Bank will be put forward to be matched by the Community Spirit Grant through the Alberta Government, so Christmas with Dignity will in turn benefit. Due to grant regulations, corporate cheques/donations are not eligible for the grant.
“The goal of the fund is to increase charitable giving by individual cash donations,” said Pam Boutilier, Program Director of the Community Spirit Program. “You and I giving five, ten or whatever amount of money we can give is great.”
Community Resource Coordinator Angela Normand said that if people are motivated to give this Christmas and choose not to make their personal cheque to the Food Bank, their donation will not eligible to be matched by the grant.
“However, their donations will gratefully be accepted for use by Christmas With Dignity,” she said. ” They can be assured that their donation will be used to assist families in their area with basic needs support.
“There are many families living in our community that are struggling and need help during the Christmas season and throughout the year. It has never been easier to give a family a Christmas that they will never forget.”
To donate to Christmas with Dignity, visit the Community Services reception desk at Town Hall during regular business hours. There will also be donation boxes at several locations in Chestermere. For more information, call 403-207-7060.