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Businesses, groups lend a hand through annual Christmas Fund

Nov 21 2012
Agnes Gala decorates the Tilley Endurables tree during the Victoria Festival of Trees at the Fairmont Empress hotel on Tuesday. The annual event, which transforms the hotel into a forest of decorated trees, raises money for B.C. Children's Hospital. The trees can be viewed until Jan. 4. 

Agnes Gala decorates the Tilley Endurables tree during the Victoria Festival of Trees at the Fairmont Empress hotel on Tuesday. The annual event, which transforms the hotel into a forest of decorated trees, raises money for B.C. Children's Hospital. The trees can be viewed until Jan. 4.

Photograph by: Darren Stone, Times Colonist , Times Colonist

The annual Times Colonist Christmas Fund has always operated on the generosity and good graces of people in the community, and this year is no exception.

Many businesses and organizations lend a hand in November and December to organize fundraising efforts for the Christmas Fund, which helps as many as 2,500 families each year with food vouchers and certificates for children's gifts.

One of the first to step up is Prime Steakhouse and Lounge, where $1 from the purchase of select menu items during December will be donated to the cause.

Prime general manager Adam Walker said the fund is worthy of support, and added that he is looking forward to being involved.

"We'd just like to give something back to the community."

For hockey fans, the Victoria Royals will hold a teddy bear toss during their Dec. 8 game against the Swift Current Broncos. Partial proceeds from teddy sales, along with money from 50-50 tickets, will be donated to the fund.

Darren Parker, vice-president of marketing for the Royals, said the team is eager to back the Times Colonist in helping others.

"The nice thing about a teddy bear toss is it's a great event for the community, people get right behind it and it's interactive," Parker said. "We couldn't be happier having the Times Colonist on board."

People can bring their own bears or buy one at the rink, Parker said. Whenever a teddy bear toss is held, the bears are given to children in need.

Times Colonist promotions director Shannon Kowalko said group fundraising efforts are greatly appreciated.

"The opportunity to be a little more creative in how we raise money and to connect with different businesses is great," she said.

To streamline the way that giving is organized, the 2012 Times Colonist Christmas Fund has formed the Christmas Giving Program. The umbrella organization will handle all applications to the Times Colonist fund, along with CFAX Santas Anonymous, the Salvation Army, the Mustard Seed, St. Vincent de Paul and the Sidney Lions Food Bank.

The deadline for applying is Dec. 3.

Last year's fundraising drive brought in a record $284,553.13.

HOW TO DONATE

? Go online to

timescolonist.com

? Call 250-995-4438

? Mail or drop off in person at

the Times Colonist, 2621 Douglas St., Victoria

jwbell@timescolonist.com

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