KENTVILLE, NS - They’re a group of volunteers working hard to ensure happier holidays for Kings County families in need.
The historic Cornwallis Inn ballroom in Kentville hosted the Kinsmen and Kinette Christmas Miracle Benefit on Nov. 24. It’s all about raising money to buy toys and other gifts for children from less fortunate families in Kings County at Christmas time.
The Kentville and District Kinette Club, which currently has seven members, organizes the fundraiser each year in support of the Kinsmen and Kinette Christmas Miracle Radiothon. This year’s radiothon will be broadcast on AVR 97.7 FM on Nov. 29 from 1 to 5 p.m. The 2018 effort is off to a great start, as the benefit event raised $2,772.55.
Emilie Desveaux-Starratt, who serves as co-chairwoman of the benefit along with Susan Graves, said the Christmas Miracle serves a very important purpose: providing Christmas gifts to children in need in Kings County between the ages of one to 13 years old.
“We don’t look for financial records or anything,” Desveaux-Starratt said. “If they feel that there’s is a need and they have custody of the children and bring in a health card, they can apply.”
She said many people are just one pay cheque away from needing help and you never know when something such as getting laid off or getting into an accident will happen. People in situations such as these often find that they need a helping hand at Christmas time. The Kinsmen and Kinette Christmas Miracle provided gifts to approximately 200 children in 2017.
Desveaux-Starratt said the funds raised through the event represent a large percentage of what the radiothon brings in. It wouldn’t be possible without the help of other volunteers, including the musical entertainers and emcee. She said many now look forward to helping out each year, which is great.
A wide range of individuals and local businesses contribute door prize, auction and raffle items. The use of the ballroom was also donated. A food box and a Christmas basket were raffled off and there were more than 150 door prizes. The auction featured 12 items with a total value of more than $1,700.
The benefit event also featured a visit from Santa Claus; a sucker pull, 50-50 draw, Christmas indoor yard sale, canteen and the popular horse race game. The game features 20 “horses” that are sponsored by area businesses. People place $1 bets on the horses and a 20-sided die is cast to determine which horse moves ahead. Another roll determines how many spaces the horse moves. The game continues until a horse crosses the finish line.
Did you know?
- Kinsman and Kinette Christmas Miracle applicants must bring proof of age for each child, such as a birth certificate or health card.
- Applications are taken in the Kin Room, located downstairs in the Kentville Rec Centre at 354 Main St., Kentville. Please use the side entrance.
- The 2018 application dates and times are Nov. 27 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Nov. 28 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to noon, Dec. 4 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Dec. 5 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to noon and Dec. 11 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- The Kinsmen and Kinettes use the money raised through the Christmas Miracle to go on a shopping spree to find the requested items.
- Members of the Kings County 4X4 Club deliver the presents.