With Remembrance Day behind us, the lead-up to Christmas is underway, and locally, that means the calendar will feature a number of holiday season-related community events over the next few weeks.
For those who feel inspired by the approach of Christmas to ramp up their Christmas spirit, and perhaps help out others in the community, there will be no shortage of opportunities.
On Nov. 16, Lethbridge Family Services launched its 25th-anniversary Angel Tree Christmas campaign, which relies on the community’s generosity to make the holiday season a little brighter for families in need. The campaign continues until Dec. 20, with the program accepting donations in a variety of ways.
Businesses are invited to become “Official Angel Tree Drop-off Locations” to accept gifts for the campaign. Citizens are invited to pick up an angel at a participating drop-off location, then buy a toy matching the description in the angel and drop it off at any Angel Tree drop-off location or at Lethbridge Family Services.
Local residents may also text “Angel” to 41010 and donate $10, or they can donate online or at the LFS office.
Local residents can also contribute by volunteering their time. Sandra Mintz, CEO for Lethbridge Family Services, says the agency’s northside location, at 1107 2 Ave. “A” N., is a virtual “Santa’s workshop” at this time of year.
Last year’s Angel Tree campaign provided more than 2,100 gift bundles to children and youths under age 18.
For information on donating or getting involved, contact LFS director Michele Gallucci at 403-327-5724, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While the Angel Tree campaign marks 25 years, another local tradition is marking an anniversary of twice that length.
The Salvation Army’s 50th annual Coffee and Carols program will take place Sunday, Dec. 3, starting at 2:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army Community Church, located at 1302 4 Ave. S. Admission is free, with a collection to be taken.
This year’s guest choir will be the McKillop United Church Choir, under the direction of Ken Rogers. They will be joined by the gospel quartet Four-Ever Praise, and a handbell choir presentation will also be featured.
Guest carol leader will be Dale Martin Jr. Coffee and goodies will follow the musical portion of the program.
Meanwhile, the Gem of the West Museum Society will host its 22nd annual Carol Festival, taking place Friday, Dec. 1 at the Gem of the West Museum in Coaldale (at 1306 20 St.). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the performance, featuring local choirs, singers and musicians, starts at 7 p.m., with refreshments to follow.
Admission is by donation.
Also in early December, the Rotary Club of Lethbridge Sunrise will present “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a live radio play by Joe Landry and directed by Fran Rude. The play will be staged Wednesday, Dec. 6 and Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 20 Rocky Mountain Blvd. W. Proceeds will go toward funding community projects undertaken by the Rotary Club.
Continuing through to Dec. 20, Centre Village Mall, 106.7 Rock and Kiss 107.7 are collecting toys for children through the Toy Mountain program to ensure that all children have a chance to wake up to a special surprise under the Christmas tree.
Members of the public can drop off new, unwrapped toys at Centre Village Mall Toy Mountain during mall hours. All toys will be distributed through the joint efforts of Interfaith Food Bank, Lethbridge Food Bank and the Salvation Army.
Tickets are $20 for individuals or $80 for groups of five. They’re available at the Enmax Ticket Centre or online at http://www.enmaxcentre.ca/.
Wood’s Homes is conducting its annual Mall Madness campaign and is looking for donations of new or gently used toys, household items and gift items. These donations will allow youth who are part of the Wood’s Homes program to pick out gifts for members of their family and have them wrapped and ready to put under their tree. If you would like to donate, drop your items off by Dec. 4 at Wood’s Home, 312 3 Ave. S. For more information, phone 403-317-1777.
The YWCA Lethbridge and District will hold its Christmas Open House Dec. 7 from 3-5 p.m. at the YWCA, 604 8 St. S. Partnership recognition will be done at 4 p.m. and refreshments will be served.
For more information, contact the YWCA by phone, 403-329-0088, or email at email@example.com, or visit the website http://www.ywcalethbridge.org.
The Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization will hold its Christmas Art/Craft and Bake Sale Friday, Dec. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the LSCO, 500 11 St. S. The event will feature some great gift-giving items along with Christmas goodies. Everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, call the LSCO at 403-320-2222.