Festival of Trees at Centre Chevaliers

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

Festival of Trees is coming back to Falher on Nov. 18 at the Centre Chevaliers.
Co-hosted by Smoky River Family and Community Support Services and Smoky River Chamber of Commerce, the event will be held in conjunction with the Moonlight Madness in the community.
“Christmas décor, wreaths, or anything that could be used as a silent item,” says FCSS director Crystal Tremblay, listing items they are requesting to be utilized in their auction.
“Donated trees are often decorated with a theme, but it is not necessary.”
The evening will include a silent auction, spaghetti supper and a choir for entertainment. Proceeds from the event will be used for the Smoky River Christmas Voucher program, a program that is run solely on donations.
“Without donations or fundraisers, we would not be able to run the program,” says Trembley. “Last year, we handed out vouchers to 80 families for a total of $14,000. Unfortunately, as costs rise, so does the need for the program.”
The Christmas Voucher program provides low-income individuals with a voucher to spend at Falher IGA or Co-op to help purchase meals for the Christmas season. Toys are also given to children of the families who utilize the program.
Application forms for the voucher program can be found at all the municipality offices or the FCSS office.
“We only give one voucher per household so if we have two families living together only one voucher is given for that home,” says Tremblay. “The amount of the voucher is based on the number of individuals in the household.”
Tremblay says families are asked to fill out the application for the voucher program indicating number of family members and their income and expenses.
“Christmas can be a difficult time of year for those on a fixed income or low income,” says Tremblay.
“Smoky River Christmas Voucher program aims to ensure that those families are aided with toys for kids and grocery vouchers.”
All money raised from the silent auction of Christmas décor will be used to fund the voucher program, and Tremblay hopes community members will contribute what they can.
FCSS is also looking for a community group or volunteers to help cook and serve the spaghetti supper. If you would like more information about the event, would like more information about the Christmas
Voucher program, or would like to donate, please phone FCSS at (780) 837-2220.

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