Linda Creaser donates $1

Family committed to kids

What started as a small holiday party to raise funds for a local charity has raised more than $17,000 in the past 13 years.

What started as a small holiday party to raise funds for a local charity has raised more than $17,000 in the past 13 years.

Linda and Greg Creaser have always enjoyed hosting friends and family at Christmas time, but they also wanted to support a good cause. By combining their holiday party with fundraising, they have raised thousands of dollars for Santas Anonymous.

“We host a Chinese auction, and friends and family — as well as local businesses — donate items, and we have always donated the money to Santas Anonymous,” said Linda Creaser, adding that in the past 13 years, they have raised $17,415.90 for Santas.

Parents of a grown son, the Creasers started their party off small, with auction items displayed and brown paper bags behind each item — guests bought tickets for 25 cents which they would put into the bag in the hopes of winning that item.

“That first year we raised $40 and it’s grown every year,” said Linda. “Santas is all about kids. We have never had to wake up on Christmas Day and worry about not having gifts to give to our kids and we don’t want anyone else to either.”

Linda said they approach people they know for auction items, and friends and family are encouraged to regift items for the auction as well.

This year’s auction brought together 52 people to bid on 260 items such as signed hockey jerseys from the Washington Capitals organization and jerseys donated by the recently closed Monashees.

“We had such wonderful support from local businesses,” said Linda.

The list is a long one, but Linda said special mention needs to go to Heartwood Homes, Valley Marine, Wires By Design, Lucas Auto Repairs, Apple Auto Glass, Fisher’s Hardware, Vernon Vintners, Vernon Veterinary Clinic, The Pup Stop, Casa De Mario’s Pizzaria, Longhorn Pub, Hillview, Kal Sports Bar, Old Dutch, Dairyland, Grimms Meats, Gorman Bros. and Brandt Tractor.

The Creasers’ total donation to Santas this year is $2,381, with $500 of that coming from Heartwood Homes.

Santas Anonymous treasurer Lydia Wainwright said the organization wouldn’t exist without the support of the community.

“This is huge,” said Wainwright. “To think of a family in the community that has been that committed to Santas for 13 years and that they do all of this behind the scenes is just amazing. We have rent to pay and other bills.

“Thanks to people like Linda and the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band (who do the pub crawl every year, raising funds for Santas), who have been committed to helping us.”

The money is also used to buy toys. When Target went out of business earlier this year, Santas Anonymous volunteers scooped up as many toys as they could at rock-bottom prices.

“We watch the sale flyers all year long so we can maximize our funds,” she said. “It’s all about the kids, to see the parents’ relief when they come in and pick out gifts for their children is so rewarding.”

Santas Anonymous provides gifts to needy children throughout the North Okanagan, not just at Christmas but for birthdays all year long, for ages birth to 12 years old.

Santas is now taking appointments for parents or caregivers to pick up gifts for their children. To make an appointment, call 250-542-4448.

 

Just Posted

The Rise raises KidSport Vernon’s coffers

Community association donates nearly $1,300 to local organization

Freezing rain, some snow forecasted for Okanagan-Similkameen-Shuswap

Environment Canada forecasting freezing rain and snow for much of the region

Spallumcheen’s Ina Forrest back on Team Canada

Wheelchair curler from North Okanagan will go for historic fourth world championship title in March

North Okanagan petition process begins

Regional District of North Okanagan Areas B and C property owners asked to back wastewater project

Registration open for Vernon Chamber’s Spring Expo

The event will run March 8- 9 at Kal Tire Place North

Music Rundown: Where you should be watching live music this week

Fill your calendar this week with these great shows

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

Snowed-in Austrian nuns insist they’re staying put

Authorities have deployed heavy equipment to clear snow and fallen trees blocking the road to the monastery

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Most Read