Honorary Christmas Angels chairperson Scott Geddes, owner of Cocoa Pesto, gets into character as the kidnapper of the beloved seagull sou’wester while Christmas Angels co-ordinator Erin Amirault shows off the Liz Robinson painting that will be awarded to the individual or business that frees the hat from Geddes’ clutches.
©Ashley Thompson — TC Media
WINDSOR — The Hants County Christmas Angels Society is putting a new twist on an old tradition.
For years local businesses have entered a bidding war for the coveted seagull sou’wester felt hat the day of the Hants County Christmas Angels Annual Telethon.
This year, the stakes are higher than ever before.
The sou’wester has been kidnapped.
Cocoa Pesto owner Scott Geddes, who was selected as the honorary chairperson of the Christmas Angels campaign for 2014, is holding it ransom.
Geddes is keeping the hat, a longtime symbol of the Christmas Angels’ cause, until someone comes through with a financial offer he simply cannot refuse.
“We really need to have it back and we’re offering a painting by Liz Robinson as a reward to whoever can get our hat back for us,” said Christmas Angels co-ordinator Erin Amirault.
The upcoming telethon will be filmed in the Hants County War Memorial Community Centre in Windsor Dec. 7 from noon to 8 p.m. The public is encouraged to visit the community centre during the telethon, and support the local talent performing for the live broadcast airing on Eastlink TV’s community channel.
“Performers from all over Hants County and beyond donate their time and talent to help raise funds for local families,” said Amirault.
The goal of the telethon is to raise $30,000 for the non-profit organization dedicated to helping local families in need of support partake in their holiday traditions.
“This year, the Hants County Christmas Angels Society will be providing a gift to each child (as we have done in the past), and will include gift certificates for the family to Sobeys and Superstore to ensure a little extra towards groceries during the holiday season,” said Amirault.
Christmas Angels is teaming up with similar organizations, like the Matthew 25 Windsor and District Food Bank, Salvation Army, and local school and church groups, in an effort to offer assistance in the most efficient manner possible.
“Christmas Angels is going through major positive changes this year. We have decided to work with similar organizations so we can join forces to help with the overwhelming need for assistance this year,” said Amirault.
The telethon is the main economic driver for the Christmas Angels program. Donations were down a bit last year, with the grand total ringing in at about $23,000, but Amirault is confident the $30,000 goal set for 2014 is attainable.
“People are saying it’s a reflection of the economy, a reflection of the times, but I truly believe if we pull the community together, then we can raise those numbers no matter what the economy is doing,” she said.
Christmas Angels is encouraging local school students to draw sketches showing them performing acts of kindness for the telethon. Dubbed kindness portraits, parents will be able to collect their child’s work of art at the telethon.
“There will be a Kindness Angel picked from each school and that angel gets to come on TV during the telethon and talk about their portrait and why kindness is important to them,” said Amirault.
Kindness is the heart and soul of Christmas Angels, a program that typically assists about 200 families per year.
For more information, contact Amirault at 902-792-1948 or email email@example.com.
How to donate
• Visit the Hants County War Memorial Community Centre in Windsor Dec. 7 between noon and 8 p.m. while the live telethon is underway.
• Go to www.christmasangels.ca to donate online.
• Drop in to Superstore, Sobeys or Home Hardware the day of the telethon, or visit the pledge booths set up Christmas Angels.
• Call the telethon hotline, 902-798-5050, and pledge.