Red Deer Emergency Services Chief Ken McMullen, left, Christmas Wish Breakfast chair Lynn Van Laar and firefighter Mark Stadnick were busy Sunday. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Red Deer Emergency Services Chief Ken McMullen, left, Christmas Wish Breakfast chair Lynn Van Laar and firefighter Mark Stadnick were busy Sunday. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Central Albertans help families during holidays with Christmas Wish Breakfast

It takes a community to help a community.

And Sunday morning at the fourth annual Christmas Wish Breakfast in Red Deer, families were helping families.

Breakfast chair Lynn Van Laar said this year’s event is indeed themed “Families helping families.”

The concept of the event is simple: bring a new unwrapped toy and enjoy free breakfast.

The toys are given out to central Alberta families who can use the help during the holiday season.

The number of people who joined in Sunday at the Black Knight Inn increased from about 700 people last year to an estimated 900 people this year.

“I checked about quarter after 9 (a.m.) and it was pretty close to 700,” said Van Laar, adding the event ran from 8 to 11 a.m.

“That’s what we had last year for the whole morning, so we’re ahead.”

Asked why the annual event has grown, she said the breakfast has a wider reach in the community. Another reason for the growth is the need.

The breakfast event divides cash donations, gift cards and toys between the Christmas Bureau and The Salvation Army.

The Red Deer Firefighters Children’s Charity donated about $6,500 for toys this year.

Red Deer Emergency Services Chief Ken McMullen said it brings him joy to see his team leaving the everyday business behind and volunteering.

“We get to see the other side, the charity side, and help out,” said McMullen.

It is great to help out families who are experiencing financial difficulties during the holiday season, said Mark Stadnick, one of more than 50 firefighters who volunteered at the event.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dwayne Buckle, 40 of Red Deer finished a 1,638-kilometre walk, in honour of his family. The 12-week, 82 day-journey wrapped up in Port Hardy, B.C. on Monday. Facebook photo
Red Deer man completes 1,638 km hike for cancer research

Dwayne Buckle, a Red Deer firefighter returned home Friday after his 12-week journey

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveres to Canada are being delayed because of complications at their European distribution facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Delays of Pfizer vaccine delivery to impact Alberta’s vaccination plans

Alberta has administered 74,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far

Two inmates at Bowden Institution have tested positive for COVID-19. (Black Press File Photo)
2 Bowden inmates test positive for COVID-19

A pair of inmates at Bowden Institution have tested positive for COVID-19.… Continue reading

Salons and barbershops are able to open on Monday, the Government of Alberta announced this week. (Photo courtesy Pixabay)
Red Deer salon owner “relieved” business can re-open next week

The owner of a Red Deer salon says she’s “definitely relieved” her… Continue reading

Red Deer Valhalla Pure Outfitters owner Darren Schaedeli has seen a significant increase in those looking to tackle winter experiences. Some are trying their hand at "hot tent camping" as he did in the West Country several weeks ago.
Photo contributed
Central Albertans enjoying the great outdoors this winter

Stir crazy and beach-deprived central Albertans are embracing the great outdoors this… Continue reading

Lesser Slave Lake UCP MLA Pat Rehn. (Facebook)
Updated: Jason Kenney kicks Lesser Slave Lake MLA out of caucus

Pat Rehn will not be permitted to run for UCP nominations

A group of Buffalo Bills fans from Toronto pose for a photo while tailgating in the parking lot of New Era Field before an NFL football game between the Bills and the New York Jets, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Adrian Kraus
Being unable to attend Bills playoff games due to pandemic pains Canadian fans

Being unable to attend Bills playoff games due to pandemic pains Canadian fans

FILE - Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant runs the bases after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning during a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, in this Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, file photo. Bryant is among roughly 125 players who entered Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, eligible to exchange salary arbitration figures with their teams. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
Lindor, Bryant, Bellinger, Seager get big-money deals

Lindor, Bryant, Bellinger, Seager get big-money deals

Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash points during the third quarter of the team's NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, in New York. (Brad Penner/Pool Photo via AP)
More NBA games off, as league continues struggles with virus

More NBA games off, as league continues struggles with virus

Washington Capitals' Jakub Vrana (13) is congratulated for his goal during the second period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Vanecek makes 28 saves in NHL debut, Capitals sweep Sabres

Vanecek makes 28 saves in NHL debut, Capitals sweep Sabres

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Collin Delia (60) makes a save after Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) fell down during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Stamkos, Palat lift Lightning over Blackhawks again

Stamkos, Palat lift Lightning over Blackhawks again

Canadian women's soccer team member Rhian Wilkinson is seen during a training session in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 21, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Former Canadian international Rhian Wilkinson leaves Canada Soccer coaching job

Former Canadian international Rhian Wilkinson leaves Canada Soccer coaching job

Tkachuk, Senators down Maple Leafs 5-3 in 1st game in 10 months

Tkachuk, Senators down Maple Leafs 5-3 in 1st game in 10 months

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks at a news conference in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. An Alberta legislature member is signalling he has no plans to give up his seat after Kenney booted him from the United Conservative caucus for failing to represent constituents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
MLA booted from Alberta UCP caucus shows no signs he’ll give up seat

MLA booted from Alberta UCP caucus shows no signs he’ll give up seat

Most Read