’Tis the season for giving—and there was no shortage of generosity here Friday night during the “Acts of Kindness” benefit at the Legion.
The event raised $20,000 for the “Community Chest,” with more donations coming in the mail, noted co-organizer Tannis Drysdale.
She called the event “a wonderful evening” with enough money raised “to allow Community Chest to continue to help many people in our district.”
The benefit saw more than 150 district residents gather to socialize, have dinner, and buy or bid on well over 100 “Acts of Kindness,” which were donated by community individuals, service clubs, and businesses.
These “acts” ranged from yoga classes and snow shovelling to catered dinners and fly-in fishing trips.
Those on hand were treated to a turkey dinner with all the fixings, made with food donated by more than a dozen sponsors and prepared by the Legion Ladies Auxiliary.
The program featured Jane Gillon, who spoke on how much the “Community Chest” means to local families, and Faye Flatt and Romeo Duguay, who teamed up to sing Johnny Reid’s “Today I’m Gonna Try and Change and Change the World,” and Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World.”
The evening was emceed by Joelle Blanc-Paull of La Place Rendez-Vous and Dale Fortes of Boston Pizza.
A significant part of the evening was the raising of funds through people buying the various “Acts of Kindness” up for grabs, which were posted on the wall as tags and then taken down and purchased, or bidding on them during the auction, which was streamed live on the Internet via webcast.
Technical assistance was provided by Raj Sritharan of the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre and Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce manager Anthony Mason.
The “Acts of Kindness” didn’t stop with services to be sold or auctioned as many individuals and businesses offered aid in making the fundraiser a success.
For example, all the servers were volunteers, including FFHS cheerleaders as well as staff from La Place Rendez-Vous and Boston Pizza.
Meanwhile, the Fort Frances Lakers helped set up the Legion hall, the use of which was donated by the Royal Canadian Legion Br. #29.
Other sponsors helped with telecommunications equipment, banners, decorating, advertising, tickets, posters, and more.
Wanda Botsford, who also helped organize the fundraiser, noted that if you added up all of the goods and services donated and tickets bought, there were over 450 “Acts of Kindness” that helped make the event a reality.
The “Community Chest” provides financial aid to district families who may need help to cover medical costs.