Local residents are coming together in a number of ways to help support Community Centre 55’s Share a Christmas campaign this year.
With the COVID-19 pandemic making what are already difficult circumstances for many people much worse, the need for the campaign which helps out families in need over the holiday season is especially acute this year.
Also, due to the pandemic, Community Centre 55 has had to change a number of ways it operates the program in order to keep people safe. That means donations of food items will not be collected this year. Instead residents are being encouraged to make cash contributions or donate gift cards.
To help generate money for Share a Christmas, local lacrosse supporters are doing their part.
Since it did not take place earlier this year because of COVID-19, the Beaches Lacrosse Jammer Classic Field Lacrosse Tournament has some legacy funding available and they are going to be using it to help Community Centre 55 and to encourage others to contribute.
The Jammer tournament will be matching donations made to Community Centre 55’s Share a Christmas campaign up to $5,000 this year.
“The goal is being to garner $10,000 for families in need in our community, perhaps even more,” said Mark Kuhlman.
The Jammer Classic Field Lacrosse Tournament, which began in 2009, is held in memory of former Beaches Lacrosse player Jamieson Kuhlman, 15, who died while playing a game in Newmarket in May of 2008.
Mark is Jamieson’s father. He is hoping the lacrosse community from the Beach and beyond will contribute to Community Centre 55 this year in lieu of taking part in the tournament and in Jamieson’s memory.
“We wanted to find an appropriate home for that money,” he said of the tournament’s legacy funds. “We want match donations up to $5,000 and hope this will increase donations and also garner new donations from the lacrosse community.”
To contribute, go to https://www.centre55.com/ and click on the Donate Now link and then mention you are contributing in honour of the Jammer tourney so the fund matching will kick in.
Kuhlman added that tournament organizers are hopeful that it can take place in 2021, but that will depend on the COVID-19 situation.
Share a Christmas is need of help in a number including support for its Teen Angel, Adopt a Family and Adopt a Senior programs.
The Teen Angel program is in particular need of gift cards for $30 and $50 from stores such as SportChek, H & M, Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart.
To help out, please contact Evonne Hossack at 416-691-1113, ext. 222.
Those making cash donations to this year’s campaign will receive a Hamper’s Share a Christmas tax receipt. Cash donations can be made online by visiting the Community Centre 55 website at https://www.centre55.com/
Cash donations can also be made by E-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Community Centre 55 says a password does not need to be sent for the E-transfers, but they must be designated as being for Share a Christmas.Residents can also drop off donations of cash, cheques of gift cards in person at Community Centre 55, 97 Main St. New toy donations will also be accepted in person, but the centre’s hours are limited due to the pandemic.
At this time, donations can be dropped off in person on Monday to Friday from 9:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; and also on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Donation hours will be extended closer to Christmas, so check the CC55 website for updates.