Companies bring Christmas cheer to the North
- EFN Staff | December 23, 2019
A group of 10 companies brought some unique Christmas cheer to the Athabasca communities this December.
Representatives from the sponsoring companies flew into the far north communities of Stony Rapids, Black Lake Denesuline First Nation, Fond du Lac Denesuline First Nation, Hatchet Lake Denesuline First Nation, and Wollaston Lake and delivered an assortment of gifts to the kids going to school in the Athabasca communities from K-12 totalling 1277 kids.
“This is an event that we always look forward to,” said Michael Rodyniuk, CEO of West Wind Aviation in a media release. “West Wind has been a major sponsor of Christmas in the North since it started, and this year, we are thrilled to be able to provide a gift for every student in the Athabasca communities.”
West Wind, Athabasca Basin Development, Athabasca Basin Security, Flyer Electric, Team Drilling, Points Athabasca, ORANO, Cameco, Prince Albert Grand Council and Al’s Place provided drawstring backpacks filled with an assortment of toys and games such as footballs, mini hockey sticks, uno card game, or snakes and ladders board game. Each student received a book in an assortment ranging from books by Indigenous authors like Monique Gray Smith and Saskatchewan’s own Dawn Dumont, to other popular titles like Captain Underpants.
“The team works hard to try and provide an assortment of activities that the kids will enjoy,” said Rodyniuk. “Along with two round trip flights for the schools to give away to community members in a draw, we also bring Santa along to help the group distribute the gifts on the day of the school Christmas concert.”
The combined value of all the contributions to Christmas in the north is $65,000.
The event has been running for the past 8 years. There was also an Athabasca student dinner which also ran for many years, where they had record attendance of 65 students and around 250 guests attended. Transwest gave each of the students there a free round-trip home, plus 50% off the price of a ticket for one traveling companion.