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Snowflake Gala a success for CPAN

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

PETAWAWA – It was a taste of Christmas to go along with the taste of winter.


Saturday evening, with weather warnings in the air of an approaching winter storm, people gathered in the Petawawa Civic Centre to join in the warmth of the sixth annual Snowflake Gala, the Festival of Trees fundraiser for the Renfrew County Child Poverty Action Network, (CPAN).

The event is one of the largest fundraisers of the year for the agency.

Lyn Smith, CPAN executive director, said the event has been sold out, and the hope is they will raise more than $34,000 by the end of the evening. She is more than pleased with the way the event has gone.

“We've had lots and lots of wonderful support from the business community,” she said, whether it was from sponsorships, donations or overall support like buying tickets.

“We've had a lot of help, a lot of support, and a lot of fun.”

Arriving guests made their way through Christmas Tree Avenue, set up in the hallway leading from the Petawawa Public Library to the upstairs hall. These trees, lit up and decked out in a wide variety of decorations, were to be auctioned off during the evening, along with many other items generously donated by local businesses and sponsors. The Zephyr Woodwind Quintet kept the spirit and the mood festive by filling the air with a joyous selection of holiday music.

Upstairs, guests took part in the auction, and were entertained by the band Reckless and the Stretching Reality magic show performed by Steven Anthony. They also tucked in to an excellent dinner provided by Ullrich's Catering.

Smith said as a personalized thank you, students from across Renfrew County helped to make Christmas cards to thank everyone for taking part in the gala.

She said she also used the gala as an opportunity to bring people's attention to Operation Snowsuit, which provides winter clothing to families who may not otherwise be able to obtain it for their children.

Smith said they are short in a variety of sizes of clothing, and need for snowsuits, jackets and pants Size 6X, Size 7, Size 8 and Size 12 boys and girls, and Size 14 boys; in adult sizes (for teens) medium, large and extra large for ladies and men, and Size 3 X ladies.

For boots, Size 1, 4 and 6 boys and Size 3 boys and girls; adult sizes (for teens) Size 7 men's, Size 5 and 8 ladies, Size 9, 10 and 11 ladies and men's and Size 12 and 13 Men's.

All sizes of waterproof mittens, hats and neck warmers are always needed.

The dollars raised from the Snowflake Gala will go sustain programs facilitated by CPAN, which receives no government funding or subsidies. 

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