WINDSOR, N.S. – The donations came in slow and steady at the start, but by the end organizers had crushed their goal of $40,000 by over $5,000, making it their most successful year yet.
Ashley Boyd, co-ordinator of the 2017 Hants County Christmas Angels, said she was over the moon with the response from the community.
“The day went extremely well, there were a few glitches, but that happens with anything,” Boyd said. “For the most part performers were there, people were watching, people were calling in, everything worked out amazingly.”
The final tally at the end of the telethon – a record-breaking $45,495.
“We have never made that much money in the 40 years that the telethon has been happening,” she said. “I don’t know for certain why people were donating in such large amounts, but we started promoting this early on, explaining what this is all about.”
The majority of the funds will go towards the 200-plus families in need this holiday, with some being set aside for a contingency fund, Boyd said.
Major donations came in from several local businesses, community groups and individuals throughout the day, ramping up in the final hours of the telethon.
Boyd said pledges came in from outside of Hants County as well, including Halifax and Kings counties.
“I can’t even describe in words how I feel today,” she said. “It was just amazing.”
For the Hants County Christmas Angels committee, they’re now focused on gathering pledges and purchasing items for the families in need.
“We really need to finish pushing the tags that are left on the Trees of Hope throughout Windsor, Hantsport and Mount Uniacke,” she said. “We will be sorting what things have and haven’t been filled and get to work on that.”
“I’m hoping we’ll help every single family that has applied through our program, which is just over 200,” she said.
Boyd thanked everyone who volunteered, performed and donated during their biggest Christmas Angels telethon ever.
Donations are still being accepted at their website, christmasangels.ca.
Firefighters give big
The volunteer fire departments from Windsor, Brooklyn, Hantsport and Wolfville all worked diligently to raise money for the fundraiser, with some members walking dozens of kilometres to the Hants County War Memorial Community Centre in full bunker gear, where the telethon was held, collecting donations along the way.
Combined, firefighters raised well over $7,000.
Graham Driscoll, firefighter with the Windsor Fire Department was collecting donations at the Atlantic Superstore in Windsor.
“People in Hants have definitely been very kind and very generous,” he said as people were dropping money in a large bucket while walking by. “Many people are in need of help this time of year, it’s fantastic to help out in any capacity.”
Kaleb Biggin, firefighter with Brooklyn Fire Department and Randell Davidson, firefighter with the Windsor Fire Department, walked in bunker gear from Brooklyn to Windsor.
Biggin said the journey was worth it to help out.
“It wasn’t easy, but it was for a good cause,” Biggin said, adding that it was his first year walking from Brooklyn to Windsor in full bunker gear. “It’s nice to see everybody come out and support us the best they can.”