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by Brad Aubin

Both West Nipissing’s talent and generosity were on display in a big way at the SF Complex last Sunday, Nov. 26. Over 60 performers took to the stage for the 15th annual Santa Fund telethon and the community stepped up with donations totaling over $33,000, surpassing the fire fighters’ $30k goal yet again.

According to WN Fire Services Chief Richard Maranda, “the event was fantastic” and the result of a huge collective effort. “This is far from a fire fighter only event... we had a huge group of volunteers help us across the board. Over 60, I’d say. There’s a lot of teamwork from a ton of people all across the community, from France Bourgoin and her sisters decorating the stage, to the businesses who donated materials, to the organizations who helped with the phones, and the wide variety of volunteers who helped in the kitchen, bar, the audio and video... it’s a real team effort. Without all those volunteers, the event simply couldn’t happen.”

He is also in awe of people’s generosity, though it was no surprise to see the number climbing over the $30K goal once again. To him, it shows that people care about the cause, the Santa Fund, which sees fire fighters bringing toys and food baskets to needy families every Christmas.

“The town really comes out in droves every year and in true Christmas spirit, reaches into their pockets to give to those less fortunate. The people of West Nipissing are very generous, and they all come together for a variety of causes time after time... This event wouldn’t be as successful as it is without the people donating as much as they do. Without them, and without their donations, we wouldn’t be able to help as many families, as many children, as we do now. We’d have to do cutbacks, or limit ourselves and we don’t want to do that. We have a great thing going here and it’s because of the huge amount of donations we receive year after year. It makes our job easier, accommodating the families,” expresses the Chief. 

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Over 300 kids will get toys for Christmas, as telethon tops $33,000