Saying goodbye to 2018 – December

Above: Nadia and family in Edmonton.

December 5, 2018 –
A thousand people visit Falher Christmas Expo and Santa Day 2018
The fifth annual Falher Christmas Expo and Santa Day took place at Centre Chevaliers on Saturday, November 24. Seventy-five vendors set up tables offering an extensive range of merchandise, crafts and services. The vendors were mostly local but others came from across the Peace River Region, High Prairie, Valleyview, Eaglesham, Peace River and other communities in the area.
Approximately, 1000 people attended the event with about 200 children taking the opportunity to have their photograph taken with Santa.
The free to attend event also offered free activities for kids including hayrides, face painting, glitter tattoos, and balloon art by Phileas Flash. Event organizer Tina Gach provided free space for Twilight Figure Skating Club’s “Craft Corner,” where cotton candy was sold to raise funds for the club.
Gach also donated the operation of the kitchen to Guy Sports Committee who raised funds for its organization through selling cooked food and holding a bake sale.
FCSS sold angels at the event as a fundraiser and Gach also donated space to the Warriors Hockey Team to raise funds for the Children’s Wish Foundation.

December 12, 2018 –
Benefit for family caring for sick child receives generous community support
Approximately 150 people attended the “Hot Coffee Flavors of the World” and silent auction benefit to raise funds for Randy and Melanie Fillion while their daughter Nadia, who was born last July with a congenital heart problem receives treatment in Edmonton.
While Nadia receives care, Melanie Fillion and Nadia must live in Edmonton and Randy and their other children must often commute regularly to the city, a situation that places a considerable financial burden on the family.
To raise funds Pastor Todd Moore and members of the Victory Life Church, invited the community to join them for coffee from around the world, some delicious teas and a silent auction of items generously donated by local businesses and individuals.
“This event is to bless Randy and Melanie Fillion, a couple within our community who has recently had a child with heart problems,” says Pastor Todd Moore. Nadia’s condition involves a damaged valve in one of the ventricles, a type of heart defect that a child is born with. It occurs when one of the two pumping ventricles, is not large enough or strong enough to work correctly.
According to the Boston Children’s Hospital, “Single ventricle defects are rare, affecting only about five out of 100,000 newborns. They are also one of the most complex heart problems, usually requiring at least one surgery.”
On the positive side, Boston Children’s Hospital has 98 percent success in treating the condition.”
Nadia’s health is improving and she requires less oxygen as her heart is getting stronger. She is able to leave the hospital with her mother but they can’t leave Edmonton as they have to be close to the hospital for monitoring and in case of an emergency.

December 19, 2018 –
Smoky River Minor Hockey Association annual Christmas gala, offers a “Night Under the Stars”
As in previous years, the Smoky River Minor Hockey Association (SRMHA) worked tirelessly over the past few months to organize a “ Night Under the Stars” themed, 7th Annual “Christmas Affair Gala.”
Once again the organizers went all out to create a stellar atmosphere, by transforming the Centre Chevaliers into a venue that provided guests with great food and entertainment along with a high-spirited good time.
The Annual Christmas Gala is SRMHA’s major fundraiser of the year, so every contingency is covered with nothing left to chance when presenting the fun, formal evening.
“We have a group of 8 ladies that form our Gala committee, each assigned a task of decorating, food, bar, ticket sales, sponsors, silent auction, volunteers, raffle etc that work closely together over the three months of planning,” says Pauline Therriault one of the organizers of the event.
“Then we have over 45 families signing up for two, 10 hour shifts starting Thursday to decorate and food prep and working security, kitchen etc at the event itself! Plus we have the Midget team who are our hosts, work coat check, and clear tables.”
Amber Karlson-Ouellet with Country Girl Catering, who is a minor hockey parent, donated her services again this year as she has for a number of years. The event began with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails served when the doors opened at 5:00pm and the buffet dinner at approximately 7pm, catered to over 350 people including volunteers.
“We are so lucky to have Amber Ouellet and her team with Country Girl Catering! They work with our minor hockey volunteers,” says Therriault
Local businesses and organizations that celebrated their Christmas staff party at the event, included Wayne’s Auto Repair, Providence School, Nutrien-ag Solutions and staff from Dr. DeWet’s office. Music and dancing were also a feature of the evening along with prizes including the coveted “Mystery Trip,” first prize and the 50/50 draw.
Dueling Pianos, comprised of Bob Cunningham and Jesse Peters, of Aussie Rules Piano Bar in Calgary, provided the eclectic, energetic music and comic banter for the evening.


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