Linda Creaser (left) and Perry Wainwright hold a cheque for 2,200 towards the Santas Anonymous Society —North Okanagan. The two have been doing an annual fundraiser for the society since 2003. (Contributed)

Linda Creaser (left) and Perry Wainwright hold a cheque for 2,200 towards the Santas Anonymous Society —North Okanagan. The two have been doing an annual fundraiser for the society since 2003. (Contributed)

Strong year for toy donations at Santas Anonymous North Okanagan

The society is also mourning the passing of founding member, Judy Mallett

It’s been a bittersweet year for the North Okanagan Santas Anonymous Society.

The non-profit is mourning the loss of one of its founding members, Judy Mallet, who died in October.

Perry Wainwright, the society’s president, said Judy was “a force” on the annual toy run that collects Christmas gifts for local children in need around the holidays.

He says she would have been heartened by the outpouring of gifts from community donors this year.

“They’ve been phenomenal this year. I guess people aren’t going anywhere and they want to do what they can locally, so our toy totals have been quite good this year.”

Santas Anonymous collects toys for underprivileged North Okanagan kids each year, and the society is now in its 32nd Christmas season.

Wainwright said folks have been completely cooperative when it comes to wearing masks and following COVID-19 protocols when dropping off or picking up gifts.

He and longtime Santas Anonymous member Linda Creaser also managed to bring in $2,200 from their annual fundraiser, bringing the total amount raised since 2003 to $28,000.

“This year a lot of the fundraising was done online where Heartwood Homes a regular donor, and new this year, Creaser Construction donated generously to Santas,” Wainwright said.

Toys can still be donated until Tuesday morning, when the toy run winds down. Those who find themselves struggling this Christmas amid COVID-19 can also still sign up to receive a gift.

“We’ll keep checking the phone,” Wainwright said. “Thank you to the Vernon community for supporting us the way you have.”

The society is open by appointment for Christmas and birthday gifts for underprivileged children in the North Okanagan ages 12 and under. Parents must bring their child’s care card with them. Donations can be dropped off Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. at #2, 4320 29th Street.

For more information and a list of contributing businesses to this year’s toy run, visit

READ MORE: Relief fund started for Vernon girl battling rare medical condition

WATCH: Check out Vernon’s Christmas lights display from home

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Christine Perkins is the new superintendent of schools for the Vernon School District, effective Aug. 1. Perkins moves to the North Okanagan from the Kootenay Lake School District in Nelson. (Vernon School District photo)
Vernon School District names new superintendent

Dr. Christine Perkins moves from Kootenay Lake district to take over from the retiring Joe Rogers

Vernon Public Art Gallery executive director Dauna Kennedy and board member Kyle Britton accept a $43,400 grant from the BC Arts Council one-time StrongerBC fund amid the COVID-19 pandemic April 9, 2021. (VPAG)
$43K boost for Vernon gallery

Province backs local art gallery with one-time pandemic grant

A 46-year-old man from Armstrong died in Revelstoke hospital after being injured in the Lumby area. (File photo)
Armstrong snowmobiler dies in Revelstoke hospital

46-year-old man injured in Tsuius Mountain area of Monashees around Lumby area

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Spallumcheen landlord’s home trashed by tenants

Rooms filled with junk, garbage, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

B.C. wineries are open for indoor tasting despite new provincial health regulations. Photo- 
50th Parallel Winery, Instagram.
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
Suspicion of ‘fake news media’ makes rally uncomfortable for Salmon Arm event photographer

More than 300 people counted at city park for ‘Rally For Food Security’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

The former Summerland Asset Development Initiative building on Prairie Valley Road in Summerland was suggested as the site for a temporary transitional housing facility for the community. However, Summerland council has rejected this proposal. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland council rejects transitional housing facility

Concerns raised about short timeline and condition of municipally-owned building

Shayla, an 8-pound black and grey Havanese, was stolen from outside a store on Banks Road on Saturday. (Contributed)
Stolen pup located, Kelowna RCMP confirms

Mounties said on April 12 that Shayla, the 8-pound, black and grey Havanese dog, has been located safe and sound

Penticton Vees continue their winning streak carrying a 5-0 win title as of Sunday night's hockey action. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees continue winning streak

Sunday night’s 6-1 win has them with five in a row since the start of the season

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Most Read