A holiday miracle for the children
Kentville Kinettes hold Christmas Miracle benefit for children in need
They’re a group of volunteers working hard to ensure happier holidays for Kings County families in need.
The historic Cornwallis Inn ballroom in Kentville hosted the Kinsmen and Kinette Christmas Miracle Benefit on Nov. 24. It’s all about raising money to buy toys and other gifts for children from less fortunate families in Kings County at Christmas time.
The Kentville and District Kinette Club, which currently has seven members, organizes the fundraiser each year in support of the Kinsmen and Kinette Christmas Miracle Radiothon. This year’s radiothon will be broadcast on AVR 97.7 FM on Nov. 29 from 1 to 5 p.m. The 2018 effort is off to a great start, as the benefit event raised $2,772.55.
Emilie Desveaux-Starratt, who serves as co-chairwoman of the benefit along with Susan Graves, said the Christmas Miracle serves a very important purpose: providing Christmas gifts to children in need in Kings County between the ages of one and 13 years of age.
“We don’t look for financial records or anything,” Desveaux-Starratt said. “If they feel that there’s is a need and they have custody of the children and bring in a health card, they can apply.”
She said many people are just one pay cheque away from needing help and you never know when something such as getting laid off or getting into an accident will happen. People in situations such as these often find they need assistance at Christmas. The Kinsmen and Kinette Christmas Miracle provided gifts to about 200 children in 2017.
Desveaux-Starratt said the funds raised through the event represent a large percentage of what the radiothon brings in. It wouldn’t be possible without the help of other volunteers, including the musical entertainers and emcee. She said many now look forward to helping each year.
A wide range of individuals and local businesses contribute door prize, auction and raffle items. The use of the ballroom was also donated. A food box and a Christmas basket were raffled off and there were more than 150 door prizes. The auction featured 12 items with a value of more than $1,700.
The benefit event also featured a visit from Santa Claus, a sucker pull, 50-50 draw, Christmas indoor yard sale, canteen and the popular horse race game. The game features 20 “horses” that are sponsored by area businesses. People place $1 bets on the horses and a 20-sided die is cast to determine which horse moves ahead. Another roll determines how many spaces the horse moves. The game continues until a horse crosses the finish line.
Avery and Richard Farris of Halifax attended the Kinsmen and Kinette Christmas Miracle Benefit in Kentville. Avery won a couple of door prizes, including a hot dog costume for a dog and this candy jar Santa.
Johnny Graves, a.k.a. musical performer Johnny Trash, sells 50-50 tickets at the Kinsmen and Kinette Christmas Miracle Benefit in Kentville.
Alan Butler, who served as emcee for the Kinsmen and Kinette Christmas Miracle Benefit in Kentville, with many auction items.