DIGBY, N.S. - Just over $16,000 was raised at this year’s Digby Annapolis Christmas Daddies fundraiser.
The annual telethon was held Dec. 3 at the Digby Legion and raised $16,116 to help children and families during the holiday season. This was the 48th year the volunteer charity organization has served Digby and Annapolis Counties.
The telethon was held from noon to 8 p.m. and featured entertainment from 35 groups. It was televised by Eastlink on Channel 10.
Event organizer and treasurer Jackie Titus-Smith said an online auction also began a month in advance of the show and this fundraiser collected $4,361. This figure is included in the grand total of $16,116.
“That doubled from last year because we had a lot of good items there,” said Titus-Smith of the auction money raised. “It’s the highest we’ve ever had.”
Last year, about $18,000 was raised locally and in 2015, Titus-Smith said about $23,000 was collected with help from a one-time $5,000 donation from Scotiabank.
Titus-Smith said funds help approximately 60 families in this region. Each family gets a hamper with food and a new gift for each child.
“We do gift and food hampers at Christmas time. We used to have over 100 families but we’re not there now. People are having less children and people have moved out of the area. I think we have 60-some families right now.
“We buy the family a full-meal-deal – turkey dinner and all the fixings, milk, bread, butter, deserts, chocolate and things like that…We spend $75 on each child and during the year we have helped out with (home heating) oil for families.”
A committee buys the gifts and wraps and packs the hampers, which are delivered together with food boxes from local grocery stores by volunteer drivers.
“Deliveries come out on the 21st of December,” she concluded.
The association is run solely by volunteers with no paid staff and no overhead except some small printing costs and the fee for running wires into the Digby Legion hall.
The committee covers those costs with extra fundraising throughout the year.
The Legion donates the space for the telecast, the Digby fire department runs a canteen for the event, Eastlink and AVR staff put on the telecast without charging Christmas Daddies, and volunteers man the phones downstairs and coordinate the entertainment, which is all also volunteer.
(With files from Jonathan Riley)