No Humbug in this wonderful Christmas Carol

On December 4, at 7:00 p.m., step back in time to the gas lit, snow-covered cobblestone streets of Charles Dickens’ London as Lakeshore Drive United Church, in collaboration with Upper Canada Playhouse, presents a dramatic reading of the wondrous tale, A Christmas Carol.

Bring the entire family out to enjoy again the classic story of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, the Cratchit family and the Ghosts of Christmases  Past, Present and Future. Five performers in full Victorian costumes will re-tell the much loved Yule tale complete with music and Christmas songs.

Proceeds from the presentation will benefit this community. 

“All the funds raised from this event will go towards the purchase of four cardiac monitors for WDMH’s recovery room (where patients go following surgery),” said Chelsea McIntyre, Fund Development Associate for the WDMH Foundation. “These will be an update to the current cardiac monitors and will benefit the patients who need them greatly, as monitors allow caregivers to more closely watch the healing process during recovery.”

McIntyre was thrilled when Lakeshore Drive United Church, and Gail McCooeye, approached the Foundation with the idea of staging a dramatic reading of A Christmas Carol as a fund raiser. As part of their Third Party Event, the Foundation has helped out with posters, tickets and programs for the fund raiser. 

McIntyre is also delighted that WDMH doctors Wayne Domanko and Paul Coolican have joined the cast of A Christmas Carol. “I think it is wonderful to see our family doctors and hospital staff take part in fund raisers, but,” she added, “I must give Gail credit for getting them involved in this instance.”

“I had heard a dramatic reading of the Christmas Carol done before in a church, and thought it was a wonderful experience,” McCooeye said. “I took the idea to the Lakeshore Drive United Church Outreach Program, and they said they would be glad to host the event. The Church has wanted to become more involved in the community, and this seemed a perfect way.”

McCooeye approached Donnie Bowes, artistic director of Upper Canada Playhouse, and he offered his enthusiastic support. Not only is he going to be one of the readers, but he will rehearse the performers and publicize the event during the run of Dear Santa at the Playhouse. 

“I’m reading the first stave of the adaptation,” Bowes laughed. “I get to be Scrooge at his meanest, venting all my frustrations.”

While Dr. Coolican will act as emcee for the evening, Dr. Domanko and Bowes will be joined on stage as readers by Doug Grenkie, who has been an active and dedicated advocate of the Hospital; by Joan Farlinger, who has just completed a two year term as chair of the Hospital Auxiliaries Association of Ontario; and by Wendy Gibb, former drama teacher at Seaway District High School. 

Victorian costumes for the event will come from Upper Canada Playhouse. Diane Crummy, of the Hospital Foundation, will be heading up refreshments, to be served in a 19th century like setting in the church.

A major supporter of the festive fund raiser has been the Scotiabank. 

“Kim Butler, manager of the Morrisburg Scotiabank, has just been an enormous help to me,” said McCooeye.  “Scotiabank branches in Morrisburg, South Mountain and Avonmore have all agreed to sell tickets to the fund raiser. 

And what is so incredible is that Scotiabank has agreed to be our corporate sponsor and to match dollar for dollar every ticket sold at these area bank branches. That is incredibly generous of them and we are very grateful.”

Tickets to this wonderful, one night only, dramatic reading of A Christmas Carol are $15 each and are available at Scotiabank  branches. 

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