Exchange overwhelmed with local support

Iroquois Legion supports local charities – The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 370 in Iroquois presented cheques to six charitable groups in the area on December 6. The funds for the donations were all raised through the Catch the Ace Jackpot and the Nevada Break Open Tickets. Legion president Darlene Riddell made a point of thanking “everyone who supports our fundraisers. Because of this support we can make these donations to special groups.” Accepting cheques on behalf of their charities, left to right are Paul Renaud, board chair of the Dundas County Hospice ($9,000), Jim Wilson, chair of Community Food Share ($2,500), president Darlene Riddell, Bonnie McNairn, South Dundas Christmas Exchange ($2,500) and Sheila Holmes, bar manager and president of the Ladies Auxiliary. Although representatives were unable to be present for the ceremony, these charities also received Legion funding. Carefor Hospice, Cornwall, ($9,000), Perley Rideau Vets, Ottawa, ($2,000) and Seaway Valley CrimeStoppers, ($1,000). (The Leader/Gibb photo)

SOUTH DUNDAS – “As we approach our delivery deadlines, the South Dundas Christmas Exchange and our partners are overwhelmed with the support and generosity of our community,” said Exchange chair Bonnie McNairn.

The South Dundas Christmas Exchange spearheads the annual campaign to provide Christmas Dinner Food Boxes to all families in need in South Dundas.

This year 175 boxes will be packed with food for 520 people.

Made possible by cash donations from individuals, businesses, churches  and service clubs in the community, The Exchange purchases all of the food (including turkey or ham) that goes into the baskets.

“We also have huge support from our local food suppliers…Valu-mart, Giant Tiger, Iroquois Foodland, Williamsburg Meat Market and Smyth’s Apple Orchard,” said McNairn. “And it all begins with the boxes which are supplied annually by Craig Packaging in Iroquois and the use of the Legion Hall in Morrisburg.”

“Our numbers are up a bit this year as is the cost of food, but our financial donations continue to come in, so we are hoping to meet our target,” McNairn explained pointing out that the annual Top-Up $$$ Program was recently launched at Laura’s Valu-mart in Morrisburg.

“This is a hugely successful initiative organized by Laura and promoted by her staff.”

To contribute to the Top Up program, Valu-mart customers can simply ask the cashier to add a dollar or two to their grocery bill at checkout.

The Morrisburg and District Lions Club is reporting all Angels have been selected from their Angel Trees  located at the Bank of Montreal and Scotiabank in Morrisburg and at the local Beavers Dental Plant.

Sandra Johnston, who organizes the Angel Tree in Iroquois, is reporting just two or three Angels are left on the tree located at River Rat Treasures.

The Exchange’s Pyjama Drive is also winding down.

“Our pyjama drive has been embraced by our local hair salons and their customers and we are thrilled with its continued success,” said McNairn.

“And we have to mention that Iroquois Public School held a “sock drive” and thanks to the students and their families we will be distributing some 300 plus pairs of socks in our gifts bags.”

The group has also added a wonderful donation of socks from the Iroquois-Matilda Lions and knitted mitts, toques and comforters from the Morrisburg Legion Knitting group as well as Inez Bilmer.

“It is definitely a community effort, that brings it all together each year,” she said. “It is wonderful to see everyone come together.”

The deadline for the delivery of Angel Tree Children’s Christmas Gifts and Pyjamas is this Friday, December 10.

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