Christmas came early this year for the Forest Grove School with two donations that took staff and students by surprise.
Gwen Bailey read in this column that the school was asking for donations of warm winter clothing. That started the needles flying.
Bailey learned to knit when she was a young wife and mother in Whitehorse in 1963.
“ I needed things for my infant son, so a neighbour taught me how to knit and I’ve never stopped since.”
About 15 years ago, Bailey heard about the need for wool vests for newborns who are susceptible to pneumonia. Since then, she has knitted hundreds of brightly coloured vests that have been shipped to Third-World countries. Bailey also made lap robes and slippers for a veterans’ home and items for the 100 Mile District General Hospital.
Her recent donation to the Forest Grove School was 40 pairs of mittens, some with matching toques. In 2007, she made a similar donation to the school.
The kind-hearted lady says of her love of knitting, “ It’s something I just have to do. Besides, no one would recognize me without my needles.”
Second Christmas gift
When John and Heather Shin, owners of the Forest Grove Store, donated $1,000 to the school’s hot-lunch program, it was a welcome, timely surprise.
In 2004, following the closure of the Forest Grove School, an independent school was started. At that time, a group of business people in Ontario began to fund a hot lunch program at the school. Last year, the funding was dropped. The group reformed and was able to send a small donation for the 2011/12 program. The Shins’ generous donation ensured that hot lunches would continue through the school year.
Community Parents Advisory Council president Michelle Haretzmuller outlined the importance of the program.
“There are children who have a limited experience with food. The hot lunch program exposes them to new foods, which expands their dietary choices.
“The program also provides funds for the daily breakfast snacks that are available when the children arrive at school.”
The lunches are full-course dinners, with a variety of menus that often incorporate ethnic foods. They are prepared at the school twice a month by Sandra Beveridge and volunteers.
Beveridge’s imaginative menus and many hours spent in the kitchen are much appreciated by staff and students.
Every Christmas Eve, the joyous music of the season can be heard drifting through the Grove, as a brightly lit fire truck makes its way up and down every street in our peaceful little village.
Step outside and have a look. If you go a little closer, perhaps to the end of your driveway, the elves on board may toss a few candies your way.
Folks are invited to the school tonight (Dec. 14) for magical Christmas entertainment.
The Community Concert will feature performances by the students, StrongStart mini actors and various community members.
The concert begins at 6:30 p.m. A social hour will follow.
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve at the Legion promises to be good time for all.
Outstanding local band Border Run will be on stage, beginning at 8:30. Tickets are $20 for Legion members, and $25 for non-members. A buffet is included.
For reservations, call Janet Brown at 250-395-3359 or the Legion 250-397-2455.
Designated drivers for people and vehicles will be available from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
We already have the perfect gift: the good life in our beautiful Cariboo. May your Christmas be merry and bright.