Over the top, again

PICTOU – It was another big day for upholding Pictou County’s Christmas spirit.
More than $80,000 was raised on Sunday at the deCoste Centre during the annual Pictou County Christmas Fund with proceeds going toward Christmas dinner for many families in the area.

Final figures were to come and based crucially on pledges being honoured, but telethon chairperson Debbie VanSickle said she was pleased with the response from corporate and individual donors and expressed the hope that more funds will be received in the coming days following the telethon.

The total as of Monday was $81,366, which is down slightly from last year.
“We’re just thankful how people, year after year, support the fund,” she said. “A lot of people who did not pledge on Sunday will drop in at various places and pledge.”

A multitude of performers included live entertainment and some pre-recorded presentations from George Canyon and students from North Nova Education Centre.

A huge crowd of parents and others watched members of the G.R. Saunders school choir directed by Ann Holton, who was also a soloist, accompanied by her father, Bruce Holton.

Numbers thinned out for other parts of the afternoon, with one of the causes being the nasty snow and rain mix that was permeated with the occasional rumble of distant thunder and eventually morphed into a classic Nor-easter.
For a time, some of the phones for callers to pledge donations kept malfunctioning until only two were working.

“It’s been an interesting day, but I’m happy with the turnout at the deCoste despite the bad weather,” VanSickle said.

Donors who honour their pledges by Friday are eligible for an early bird prize, while donations need to be confirmed over the following week so organizers can distribute the money.

Those who register for the fund receive gift cards to purchase Christmas dinner and associated items.


Above: Volunteers took turns answering the phones for pledges at the Pictou County Christmas Fund Telethon on Sunday. From left: Lynn Nelson and her daughter Jennifer Nelson, Dawn Sutherland and Donna Stiles.  (Goodwin photo)

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Steve Goodwin
Steve Goodwin was born in Amherst, N.S. and has been a journalist for more than 40 years. He has been a resident of Pictou County for nearly 40 years.