Giving some joy to needy children in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Annual Toy Drive Breakfast scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 27 at Tigh-Na-Mara Resort in Parksville

  • Nov. 21, 2013 7:00 p.m.
Terry Edley of Chemainus and young Alexander Johnson help create a gingerbread house at Tigh-Na_Mara Resort on Tuesday in anticipation of the Toy Drive Breakfast Nov. 27.

Terry Edley of Chemainus and young Alexander Johnson help create a gingerbread house at Tigh-Na_Mara Resort on Tuesday in anticipation of the Toy Drive Breakfast Nov. 27.

SUSAN PEDERSON

Special to The NEWS

What was the one Christmas gift you dreamed of when you were young? What did it feel like when you found that gift waiting for you under the Christmas tree?

For Parksville Mayor Chris Burger, it was a toy poodle he received when he was 12 years old.

“It was Christmas Eve, and my parents made me close my eyes. When I opened them, this ball of white fluff came running into my arms,” he says. “That dog was my constant friend until well into my young adulthood.”

Peter McCully, publisher of The NEWS, will never forget the day he felt he joined “the big leagues” when he received goalie gloves and a stick. “All the other kids on the street had the Real McCoy; I used a ball glove and a homemade blocker. After that I fit right in with the other kids.”

This Christmas, the Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort is asking people in the community: this question: “If your child was to receive one gift this Christmas, what would it be?” It’s a god question to ask ahead of the fifth annual Toy Drive Breakfast, which takes place Wednesday, Nov. 27, from 6:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. People in the community are asked to bring that special gift (but no puppies!) to Tigh-Na-Mara to donate to the SOS Caring for Kids at Christmas program. To thank the community for their donation, Tigh Na Mara is offering a free breakfast to anyone who donates a toy.

The Toy Drive assists SOS in providing gifts for hundreds of children, whose caregivers are not able to afford a Christmas gift. So it’s ironic that the first Toy Drive took place five years ago, at a time when the hospitality industry was devastated by the recession.

“The whole community was suffering,” says Paul Drummond, general manager of Tigh-Na-Mara. “It was a lot to ask of the community, but they really rallied together and supported it, and have every year since.”

Five years later, Drummond still anticipates the Toy Drive with child-like enthusiasm. Drummond himself remembers a highlight of his childhood Christmases involved a new board game, and the whole family would gather around for hours to play.

The coveted gift for Island Radio’s morning man Dave Graham was an Etch-A-Sketch.

“As a young child, I was fascinated by how this machine could be manipulated to create images and then magically make them disappear. I maintain a fascination with that toy to this day.”

Renate Sutherland, executive director with SOS, said she feels grateful that the SOS can create magic for families at Christmas.

“I remember one family with a mom and dad, and three kids, and one of our volunteers offered them a new bicycle that someone had donated,” says Sutherland.

“The mother couldn’t believe it. And as we were helping to load it into their car, we opened the trunk and could see right through to the ground. The car was held together with rust and prayers, and here these parents were, just trying to create a meaningful Christmas for their kids. The mother told me that her kids would definitely believe in Santa now, because they had already told their kids that there wouldn’t be much under the tree that year.”

Every year at SOS, there are hundreds of stories much like this one, quietly taking place throughout the Christmas season. SOS sets up a Toy Shop with all the toys donated by the community, and parents can chose a gift for their children — perhaps that gift they will never forget. This year, there is a strong need for gifts for youth ages 10-17.

The Toy Drive is co-sponsored and supported by the NEWS, Island Radio and Shaw. If you would like to help create magic for children this year, be sure to drop your gift off at the 5th Annual Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive.

Santa hats are optional.

Just Posted

Hannes Grosse, left, and Iris Steigemann, right, as they prepared for their 'Moments of Silence' exhibit. The father-daughter duo are showing at The Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach until June 26. (Submitted photo)
Cortes Island artists exhibit at Qualicum Beach’s TOSH in first father-daughter show

Both artists will be present at shows on Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26

The Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society will get more funding from the Regional District of Nanaimo. (Submitted Photo)
More PQB communities to fund Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society

RDN to introduce amendment to service bylaw contribution

A slide on best practices when reporting a suspected impaired driver that was presented to Parksville city council on June 7 by Margarita Bernard, a volunteer with MADD. The organization’s Report Impaired Drivers campaign involves the installation of informative signs within the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
MADD brings campaign to report impaired drivers to Parksville

Aim is to raise awareness that 911 should be called

Pam Bottomley (executive director), right and Sandy Hurley (president) of the Parksville Downtown Business Association visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Downtown Parksville gears up for post-pandemic bounce back

Podcast: Hurley, Bottomley chat about what’s ahead for the PDBA

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, four deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

Marine biologist Rick Harbo pulls a lid from the Ladysmith harbour, which he uses to monitor the presence of native and non-native species in the Ladysmith harbour. (Cole Schisler photo)
Unidentified sponge may be the latest marine species invading Island harbour

Marine biologist finding dozens of alien species in warm-water Ladysmith Harbour, none threatening

Island Health is bringing a vaccination clinic to Lake Cowichan starting June 23. (Submitted)
Island Health opening COVID-19 vaccine clinic to boost lagging Cowichan Lake numbers

Cowichan Valley West the only Island area under 60 per cent in adult first dose totals

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

Most Read