Irene Green makes a donation at the Charity Checkstop on Taylor Drive on Saturday. (Photo by MURRAY CRAWFORD/Advocate staff)

Update: 19th annual Red Deer Charity Checkstop helps everyone have a Merry Christmas

A honk, a wave and a drop of money in a bucket helped four Red Deer charities this holiday season.

The 19th annual Charity Checkstop was set up on Taylor Drive again on Saturday. Volunteers accepted donations and collected money, toys and food.

The proceeds go towards the Women’s Outreach, Red Deer Christmas Bureau, Red Deer and District Food Bank and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The toys go towards the Christmas Bureau and the food goes to the food bank.

Teresa Kutynec, Red Deer Christmas Bureau president, said some years can be better than others, but was hopeful this would be a good year because of the warm weather.

“It’s definitely a help.” said Kutynec. “Last year we got about $15,000 to $16,000 and we’re hoping to get that this year.”

Darcy Ouellet, Women’s Outreach executive director, said the event brings a lot of awareness to the organizations during the holiday season.

“Last year, with the economy the way it was, it was a little bit quieter and it was colder,” said Ouellet.

“If you’re helping one agency, you’re helping them all. We all work closely together and our intention is to make sure we take care of all the kids.”

With donations, MADD passed out ribbons. Joan McIntyre, MADD Red Deer and District board member, said it is always important to remind people to not drink and drive, especially around the holidays.

“Hopefully this year, with the weather, people will be inclined to stop and open their window,” said McIntyre. “When it’s freezing cold, nobody wants to do that.

“A lot of people, if they have children in the back seat, they’ll open the window and the children make the donation. That wouldn’t happen if it was really cold.”

On a more serious front, Alberta RCMP spent Saturday running Checkstops across the province. It was National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day, a Canada-wide initiative. Alberta RCMP worked along side municipal police officers and Alberta Sheriffs to cover as much of the province as possible.

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