Castlegar gets Christmas spirit early with CP Holiday Train
To see an image gallery celebrating the 2009 Holiday Train’s Castlegar stop, click here. Photos by Kyra Hoggan.
As many as 600 people made tracks to see the CP Holiday Train chug its way into Castlegar Sunday, bringing with it entertainment, Santa himself, and a windfall for the local food bank.
Community Harvest Food Bank manager Deb McIntosh said food donations were down compared to the trains’ visit two years ago – perhaps because there are so many food-drop-off locations around town this year – but monetary donations went up.
“It’s wonderful,” she said. “No family will have to go without in Castlegar this year.”
Certainly, no one at the event had to go without – almost 300 hot dogs were sold, along with more than 500 cups of hot chocolate.
“We’re thrilled, and we’d like to offer our thanks to every resident, business and organization that has helped us out now, and throughout the year,” McIntosh said.
She said roughly 300 hampers will be going out this Christmas, but that number is not necessarily an accurate reflection of the city’s need.
She said many don’t apply for fear they’ll be taking form others who need it more, while some are just too shy, or too proud, to ask.
“There’s a lot of emotion around this kind of thing,” she said. “It can be so hard for people, and I guess we’d just like everyone to know that Castlegar is a very giving community, and happy to offer a hand if you need it, especially around the holidays.
“There’s no shame in asking for help, and we really want to help, so come to us if you need us,” she said.
City firefighters will be dropping off literally truckloads of toys after their toy drive work earlier in the month, and today saw a Christmas dinner hosted by the city’s brand-new drop-in centre.
For more information, to apply for assistance or to donate, please call McIntosh at 250-608-2227.