Nov. 1, 2009

Christmas Angels en route
33rd annual show will raise money for Windsor-area families in need

Rev. Bill Gibson wears the seagull-topped sou’wester that will be auctioned off at the 33rd annual Christmas Angels show on Dec. 6 in Windsor, as funding co-ordinator Cathy Cox holds the Garth Vaughan painting that will go to the successful bidder. (GLEN PARKER )
WINDSOR — Cathy Cox is gearing up to do a good deed.

She and a small army of Hants County volunteers are pitching in again this year in the 33rd annual Christmas Angels show. It aims to make the Christmas holiday season brighter for children of local families who face difficult financial times.

Set for Dec. 6 in Windsor, the show will continue a tradition that has raised $800,000 and helped close to 24,000 children over the years.

"It’s a huge production with EastLink Television and AVR radio broadcasting the show to homes throughout the county," said Cox, the event’s co-ordinator. Local musicians, school choirs, bands and other entertainers perform while celebrity hosts for the show join local politicians, clergy, business people and community representatives manning the pledge phone lines.

Organizers prefer not to set goals, but like to match or better the total from the previous year. The show annually brings in close to $30,000 in pledges.

All of the money raised goes into a pot for underprivileged families in Hants County that creates "a lot of different avenues for these children and families to have a better Christmas," Ms. Cox said.

The show is but one component of the Christmas Angels fundraiser. Other activities include firefighters from both Brooklyn and Hantsport walking to Windsor in full turnout gear and collecting money along the route.

There is also a sou’wester hat that local business owners bid on that has brought in over $35,000 over the years.

Along with the bragging rights, an original Garth Vaughan oil painting goes to the successful sou’wester bidder.

Another important Christmas Angels component is the Tree of Hope.

People in the community take a tag off the tree and either purchase a gift for the person described on the tag or donate the monetary value of the gift.

"We make sure all the Tree of Hope recipients get a gift," Ms. Cox said.

There is also a Wish Book that provides needy families with Christmas dinner and gifts and a variety show is put on at the Imperial Theatre in Windsor.

This year the variety show takes place on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. with all proceeds going to Christmas Angels and Family and Children’s Services of Hants County.

"These are all wonderful ways for the public and the business community to do a good deed at Christmas," Ms. Cox said.

"In these economic times, it seems like this fundraising effort is even more important."

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