Edna Goweriluk collects donations for the Salvation Army kettle as the 2017 Sleigh of Hope campaign fills up with toys and non-perishable food. This year’s campaign kicks off Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10, with two days of live music at the Mall at Piccadilly. (File photo)

Edna Goweriluk collects donations for the Salvation Army kettle as the 2017 Sleigh of Hope campaign fills up with toys and non-perishable food. This year’s campaign kicks off Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10, with two days of live music at the Mall at Piccadilly. (File photo)

Sleigh of Hope launches next weekend

Salmon Arm campaign kicks off with two days of music at Mall at Piccadilly

The 27th annual Sleigh of Hope campaign is slated to launch this weekend with two full days of live music at the Mall at Piccadilly to help support the Salvation Army.

Entertainment for the annual food and gift drive runs from 9:40 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9. and from 9:40 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10. Bagpipers open each day with entertainers changing every half-hour.

Twenty different acts will perform on Friday, and 13 on the Saturday. Everyone is welcome to drop by, enjoy the free, live music and help fill the Sleigh of Hope with non-perishable food items, unwrapped gifts for children – infants to age 16, and gifts for single moms, or simply make a cash donation at one of the kettles.

Originally called the Ship of Happiness, the former Lions Club of Salmon Arm christened the campaign to address a need they saw in the community by supporting the local Salvation Army.

Melva Cairns captained the ship and continues to be a supporter of the Sleigh of Hope, which the campaign was renamed in 2005.

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Current organizer, Lynn Sande, says the Sleigh of Hope is run by a team of volunteers – entertainers, musicians and dancers – from throughout the Shuswap and North-Okanagan.

“Each year, in the middle of November, we band together to combine and share our talents with the objective of helping and supporting the local Salvation Army…,” says Sande, noting this and last year’s event sponsor is Churches Thrift Store and Used Goods Society. “As always, we encourage cash donations to the Salvation Army kettles located at the mall and around town to help those who may be just a little less fortunate this time of year. We have a lot of fun and hope to see everyone come to the mall this year and celebrate.”