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Northern Lights Health Foundation

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Health Foundation Volunteers: Key to Festival of Trees Success

Those residing in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo are well aware of how generous our region can be. For the Northern Lights Health Foundation, the 2013 Festival of Trees weekend was a true testament of that generosity.

Approximately 300 volunteers graciously gave their time to help support this year’s festival, which raised $430,000 (net) for health care in Wood Buffalo. Over 12,000 members of the region came to MacDonald Island Park over the course of the weekend, which ran from Thursday, Nov. 14 to Sunday, Nov. 17.

Health Foundation volunteer, George Gavel donated more than 35 hours of his own time helping to make the annual festival a huge success. Gavel proves that volunteering your time not only helps an organization in need, but can also be a fun and memorable experience.

“I had a great time throughout the Festival and it’s all for a good cause,” says Gavel, whose a Nova Scotia native. “I’m looking forward to the next event already.”

Since moving to Fort McMurray in the fall of 2012, Gavel has donated his time to several worthy causes. He says volunteering has helped him connect with others in our region.

“When I moved to a new area, I wanted to use my spare time to get out in the community and meet new people and volunteering has done just that,” says Gavel. “I’ve made many new friends and that likely wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Plus I really enjoy doing it.”

During the Festival of Trees weekend, Gavel helped with a variety of tasks, which included setting up for the Santa’s workshop area, selling 50/50 tickets at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, selling teddy bears at the Tree of Hope, helping to set up for the ‘Meet Me under the Mistletoe’ Gala and helping with various stations in Santa’s workshop.

Gavel says his favourite part of volunteering was “seeing how excited the kids were to see Santa and helping them take part in all of the crafts that were set up.”

Volunteering your time can have a variety of different personal benefits, ranging from gaining work experience, networking, developing social skills, and can be enriching to both your life and the lives of others.

“The events put on by the Health Foundation play a major role (in our region) as proceeds go toward new equipment and programs for the health centre, so it’s for a great cause,” says Gavel.

Volunteers make a true difference by giving their time to our region’s biggest annual events in support of local health care. The Health Foundation depends on community-minded individuals and groups who generously give their time, some year after year, to these worthy events.

For more information on how you can volunteer with the Health Foundation visit:

Ways to support health care in our region…

  • Volunteer for, sponsor or support the Health Foundation’s annual special events.
  • Donate your time by initiating fundraising activities and special events.
  • Make an online donation on the Health Foundation’s website:
  • Celebrate a special occasion or give tribute to a loved one with a donation to the Health Foundation.
  • Give a gift to the Health Foundation in form of stock and securities.
  • Become a Health Foundation Marketplace Vendor. The Marketplace program is a unique opportunity to promote your business, reach new clients, sell your products and show your support for health care in our region.
  • Be an ambassador. Share your positive health care story.

For more information on our programs and services, or to make a gift, contact us:

Northern Lights Health Foundation 7 Hospital Street, Fort McMurray, AB T9H 1P2

Phone: (780) 791-6041 Fax: (780) 791-6241 Email:

Online: @NorLightsHealth NLHealthFoundation


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