The number of local Christmas events being cancelled this year are now up to three, and one organization that is sure to feel the effects is Parksville’s Salvation Army.
“These events put the spirit of Christmas into people and the spirit of giving,” said Lisa Clason, community services co-ordinator of the Salvation Army. “When you start to take those things away...it pulls that out of people’s minds.”
The popular Bethlehem Walk at the Parksville Fellowship Baptist Church was cancelled due to lack of “human resources” this year according to the website, after running for 20 years. The church normally collects donations for the Salvation Army as admission to the Bethlehem Walk, and last year garnered the organization $14,000 and stacks of non-perishable food items. The church will donate its budget to the Salvation Army, but it’s a very small amount compared to what they normally get, Clason said.
Parksville’s Santa Claus Parade has also been cancelled this year for similar reasons, an event which Clason said also collected food for the Salvation Army.
The Qualicum Beach Artisan Winter Festival is another event that has been called off, this one in Qualicum Beach, due to lack of support, said past organizer Dee Aguilar.
The Morningstar Farm in Parksville (home of Little Qualicum Cheeseworks and Mooberry Winery) has decided to try to help restock the Salvation Army’s shelves, by changing their annual Christmas at the Farm event to a fundraiser for the organization. Visitors to the farm’s event are encouraged to leave a cash donation which will then be matched by participating local businesses. The goal is to raise $20,000 as well as non-perishable food items for Manna Ministries.
The event on Dec. 22 will feature a jazz quartet, youth brass ensemble, carolers, wood fired pizza, snacks, a live manger scene, a milking demo and more. The event happens from 11 to 4 p.m. Businesses who would like to find out more can contact Jerrold at 250-954-3931, Nancy at 250-954-3941, or Ray at 250-248-4353.