Vernon’s NONA Child Development Centre will be decked out for the holidays, and as is typical for the centre, it’s all for the kids.
The centre is launching a new fundraiser, the NONA Lights for Kids event, in partnership with the John Christmas Light Tour. From Dec. 4-31, the downtown NONA buildings will be decorated with lights for the community to view every day from 5-9 p.m. The decor is designed by local artist and long-time NONA supporter Nancy Wilde.
With help from a large group of volunteers, the centre’s playground will be transformed into a reindeer park and the meeting room over the parking lot will become Santa’s new workshop.
“We are excited to join the John Christmas Light Tour and add on to this community event. There are so many beautifully decorated homes in Vernon that participate in this event, and NONA is looking forward to adding on to this and making something special for the children in our community,” said Helen Armstrong, executive director at NONA.
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the charity organization, and support from the government during the pandemic has only partially met the centre’s needs. NONA needs further support from the community to continue to provide services to children with special needs.
While struggling with additional COVID-19 expenses, NONA also needs updated technology and pediatric equipment, which are not covered by general funding. Donations can be made at nona-cdc.com. NONA will also be collecting cash donations Saturday, Dec. 18 from 4-6 p.m. at 2802 34th Street.
“The annual John Christmas Light Tour has been enjoyed by many families in our community over the past few years. Thank you to all the people who put up Christmas displays for their time and willingness to be a part of this event. NONA is an amazing organization, and I am grateful the light tour will help support their valuable programs,” said John Christmas, Royal LePage realtor.
Services provided at NONA include speech therapy, infant development, autism services and more. More than 800 children and families receive services from NONA every year.