Christina Lake Health-Care Auxiliary volunteers Brandy Buchner, Sandi Gniewotta, Shirley Richter and Louise Osborn smile to celebrate a popular and crowded 58th annual Christmas Tea fundraiser. (Barb Thate/Submitted)

Christina Lake Health-Care Auxiliary celebrates with annual Christmas Tea

The group also donated $5,000 towards a new fire boat for the Christina Lake fire department

Barb Thate

Special to the Grand Forks Gazette

Over the past year, the Christina Lake Health-Care Auxiliary has donated a sleeper chair to Grand Forks Palliative Care and 14 true doors – giant stickers that can do a world of good for patients with dementia. The stickers are printed to look like the patient’s familiar old door so that they can find their way home if they’re in care, like at Christina Lake Cottage and Hardyview Lodge in Grand Forks. The Auxiliary also gave $1,000 each for a scholarship and bursary for students intent on making healthcare their career.

The donations were celebrated on the first Saturday of November at the Christina Lake Community Hall, when the Christina Lake Health-Care Auxiliary held its 58th Annual Christmas Tea. People lined up in anticipation for baked goods, waiting for the doors to open precisely at 1:30 p.m.

The event’s silent auction had a variety of items from gift certificates to a painting, even a picture of Santa Claus. There was a table of baked goods for sale and the rush was on to get favourite treats.

“This really hasn’t changed,” said Grace MacGregor, RDKB Regional Director Area C, who has attended the Christmas Tea since she was 16. “People get an opportunity to visit and catch up with folks they haven’t seen in a while,” MacGregor said, appreciation the donations of money, goods and food from the community and groups, like the Guides from Christina Lake.

“The girls love this event,” said guider Rena Lukes, noting that her group had been asking to volunteer at the event since September.Five girls from the Unit, wearing their uniforms proudly, served sandwiches and helped where they were needed.

Beyond listing the Auxiliary’s 2019 donations to various health care providers in the region, president Sandi Gniewotta also presented $5,000 cheque to Cpt. Kevin Marks of the Christina Lake Fire Department in order to support the fund to buy a fire rescue boat. Marks explained that the boat will be used for water rescue, firefighting, evacuations and other emergency situations. The boat will be purchased and retrofitted, likely in time for the 2020 season.

The 50/50 draw for $308.50, won by Marnie Saunders, was donated back to the Auxiliary and an appreciative President Gniewotta.

The CLHCA is composed of 24 members and 4 executive; President Sandi Gniewotta, Vice-President Louise Osborn, Secretary/Public Relations Coordinator Brandy Buchner, and Treasurer Shirley Richter. Their Annual Christmas Tea is the biggest fundraiser, averaging $8,000. For next year they are considering a wish-list from Boundary District Hospital.

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