Yale and District Volunteer Fire Department became the centre for the community’s Christmas Celebration event when Santa visited it this evening.
The community can thank firefighter Shawn Dearden for this first at Fire Hall 1.
“I just thought, you know what, we should give back to the community,” said Dearden. “I mean, they support us, we should support them and make sure that everybody, especially the kids in the community have something to open up on Christmas morning.”
Dearden sees Christmas as a time of giving and for everybody to feel happy. In order to ensure this happens for all families, Dearden hosted toy collection drives for the toy run this evening.
Three businesses around Yale hosted a drop box where people could donate their toys. Dearden also spread the word by sending out flyers. The Fire Department also drove their three trucks around the community to pick up gifts from residents.
In the end, he collected six full boxes of gifts that Santa gave out this evening. Children lined up to meet Santa as fire chief Dan Friesen replenished the gifts from a storeroom.
“Very happy with the turnout, very happy with the support and businesses in town supporting us as well, and people volunteering. It’s awesome,” said Dearden.
The Fire Department also contacted the Hope and Area Transition Society and Yale Ratepayers to get names of people who need gifts. These gifts will eventually be dropped off to them.
Santa did not arrive in his reindeer-pulled sleigh. He came in a fire truck an hour after the 4 p.m. event start time.
Before that, participants enjoyed Maureen Kehler’s chili, hot dogs and hot chocolate. Camp Squeah donated the hot plates and the Ratepayers provided assistance.
Dearden rated the event as a success, saying that he was very pleased and pleasantly surprised, and said they will host this again.
“In the short amount of time that we’ve had, the community support has been awesome. Very well received,” said Dearden.