‘Spirit of Christmas’ revival big success

Heather Latter

The popular “Spirit of Christmas” fundraiser, which made a one-time comeback Sunday at La Place Rendez-Vous here, was deemed a success, topping $7,000.
Hosted by the Rainy River District Breast Health Network, the organization was given the opportunity to reintroduce the event this year to help pay for its pledge to the “Together We Can” campaign for the new digital mammography unit at La Verendrye Hospital.
“We’re very happy that it will pay a big part of our $10,000 pledge,” enthused RRDBHN member Teresa Hazel.
“We are so grateful to all of the people who donated prizes,” she added.
“It was overwhelming.”
More than 130 silent auction items, such as Christmas crafts, jewellery, and other prizes, lined the upstairs banquet room.
“There were some really nice items,” Hazel noted, adding a few women took home “truckloads.”
While some people came and went through the event from 2-6 p.m., Hazel said many stayed for the duration, visiting with friends and bidding on items.
Organizers estimated about 170 in all attended the fundraiser.
“We’re grateful for everyone who came out and support us,” Hazel stressed.
“I think everyone had a lot of fun.”
Besides the many silent auction items, there was a table filled with gently-loved Christmas items people could purchase.
As well, the “Breast Friends” cookbooks were available.
People also could guess the amount of change donated by Dave Kircher.
“He saves his change throughout the year and donates it to the ‘Spirit of Christmas,’” Hazel explained.
June Caul was just three cents off with her guess of $223 and won a prize donated by Kircher’s mother.
In addition, there was a quilt and afghan raffle. The afghan, donated by Brenda Richardson, was won by Laurie Hogan while the quilt, donated by Winnie Rousseau, went to June Keddie.
The RRDBHN also partnered with the Riverside Foundation for Health Care, which featured its annual “Wreaths ’n Things” fundraiser on Sunday, which is a penny table full of handcrafted wreaths and other holiday items.
“We were glad to reintroduce the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ to those who had enjoyed it before and the new ones who had never experienced it,” Hazel said.
But the RRDBHN is not expecting to hold the event again next year as their mandate is to promote awareness of total breast health, not to raise funds.
Hazel encourages women of all ages to book their appointment with the local breast health program by calling 274-1900.