Festival of Lights raises spirit, funds for health

Christmas spirits were up and fundraising was down at the 12th annual Festival of Lights at Stettler Community Hall from Nov. 24 to 28.

Christmas spirits were up and fundraising was down at the 12th annual Festival of Lights at Stettler Community Hall from Nov. 24 to 28.

Organizers expected fundraising to fall below last year’s figure of $65,000.

“Our attendance at the various events was very high, but bids on the auction items were down,” said Karin Phibbs, who chairs the Festival of Lights committee that raises funds to buy equipment for Stettler Health Services Foundation.

“But we knew that our fundraising would be down going into the week, considering the economic downturn.”

This year, funds will be designated to buy colonoscopy equipment for Stettler Hospital and Care Centre, she said.

Final fundraising figures are expected in the next three weeks.

Over 1,200 people attended the various events, with the Gala Night drawing 270, Kids’ Day with Santa Claus attracted over 400 children, the seniors ‘tea welcomed 240 and dessert night had about 150.

About 260 people enjoyed a variety of entertainment at the Sounds of the Season Concert that featured Stettler Elementary Show Choir directed by Amanda Hugh, soloist Rhonda Newton accompanied by pianist Veronica Weber, music by LeeAnn Kinderwater and Anna Kinderwater, the Cantus Choir directed by Gordon Moorlag and dramatic readings by Roe Desrosier.

Over 250 volunteers have served during the festival.

See photos of the interesting moments of the festival of Lights on p. A7.