Many generous people from the region raised thousands of dollars for Stettler Hospital and Care Centre last week during the 15th annual Festival of Lights at the Stettler Community Hall.
“We don’t know how much was raised at this point, but we are hopeful it will reach or exceed last year’s total,” said Sue Peterson, who chaired the organizing committee of Stettler Health Services Foundation, which sponsors the events.
After raising $101,358 last year, this year’s festival supported the hospital to purchase overhead lifts for beds.
She expects to report a final figure in the coming weeks.
“People of the community are so generous,” Peterson said.
“People know the funds stay in the community and everyone accesses the hospital at some time.”
The gala auction Saturday night sold out, with 320 people, and bidding remained strong.
“Our auction Saturday raised more this year than last year, although I was expecting it to be lower,” Peterson said.
Over the previous 14 years, the Festival of Lights raised more than $400,0000.
Last week, all six events were strongly supported, with the hall packed with people.
Sounds of the Season on Thursday drew 300 people, with entertainment from a portion of Gracenotes choir, 12-year-old singer Jesse Robinson of Erskine, Danceology of Stettler and Red Deer jazz band Sound Explosion, which included trumpeter Eric Peterson of Stettler.
Sharing the Season seniors’ tea last Wednesday afternoon attracted a packed house as children from Christ-King Catholic School entertained with music.
Kids’ Day with Santa on Friday was a big hit for the families, with 250 to 300 children getting the opportunity to tell Santa what they want for Christmas.
The Owen Blake memorial breakfast last Tuesday also attracted a big crowd.
About 350 volunteers served in various roles to again make the festival popular and prosperous, which organizers count as a valuable asset for the event each year.