Page 13 - 2020 YMM Holiday Guide
P. 13


                            I S S T IL L C OM IN G T O T O W N !

              Father Mercredi students develop new 2020 fundraising strategies

                                          By Tanisha Kadia, YMM Contributor

                   ot even 2020 can stop the   Santas Anonymous is a registered charity   Santas Anonymous Staff Coordinator Jen-
                   students of Father Mercredi   program led and run by the students and staff   nifer Pope has been involved with the program
                   Community High School from   of Father Mercredi Community High School. The   since she started teaching at the high school
                   putting on their red hats to   school’s volunteers provide Christmas hampers   13 years ago. She said the students’ spirits
       Ndeliver their 36-year-old Santas    to families in need that have school-aged chil-  are always bright, and every year, they are
        Anonymous program.                  dren throughout the Wood Buffalo region.  determined to help others in the community
          With regular updates on COVID-19 protocols,   For the past 36 years, the Father Mercredi   celebrate.
        program organizers had reinvented many of its   community has been sharing the holiday spirit   “Each year, I get to work with a new group
        community fundraising initiatives, as Santas   with less fortunate families and providing them   of kids that have the biggest, most generous
        Anonymous Head Student Leader Breagh Dunn   with an equal opportunity to celebrate Christ-  hearts. They put everything they have into
        explains.                           mas, despite the financial situation.  giving back to this community from October
          “Due to COVID-19, many of our fundraisers   During a conventional year, the Santas   to December,” she said. “There’s honestly no
        had to be cancelled, so we came up with alter-  Anonymous volunteers organize fundraisers   better way to get into the Christmas spirit than
        native fundraising opportunities, which include   like the Supermarket Spree, the Red-Green   to see what the students do every single year.
        sales of Purdy’s chocolates, Whoville trees,   Cup, the Teddy Bear Toss with the Fort McMur-  It is truly heartwarming.”
        Christmas wreaths, and holiday signs. We are   ray Oil Barons, the Middle School Dance, the
        also working on a discount card which will   Christmas Market, and the Pancake Breakfast.  To donate to the program, go to
        include over 25 local businesses,” Dunn said.  These events help raise funds to fill the ham- and
          “This year, more than ever, the community   pers with gifts and Christmas dinner supplies   find the Santas Anonymous Campaign
        can help by donating monetary donations, pur-  for in-need families. However, safety measures   Fort McMurray Facebook page for
        chasing items, and helping to pack or deliver   put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19   updates and fundraising announcements.
        hampers. The challenges we are facing this   restrict such fundraising op-
        year due to the pandemic are substantial, but   portunities.
        I have full faith in my amazing community that
        they will help and support Santas, so we can
        continue to give to those most in need.”

        Photo: Santas Anonymous
        Staff Coordinator Jennifer
        Pope with Father
        Mercredi Community High
        School Student Leaders
        of the 2020 Santas
        Anonymous Program.
        Photo by Payden
        MacDougall, Father
        Mercredi Photography

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