Christmas will be brighter for many in Kugluktuk thanks to the efforts of the Kugluktuk Christmas Committee and generous donations from community members and businesses.
The Christmas Committee raised close to $42,000 through its three major events this year: just over $22,000 was brought in through the annual telethon, the sold-out Christmas Gala and its associated auctions provided an $11,000 boost and a fundraising bingo contributed close to $9,000.
“Our community’s really rallied around us during the Christmas season,” said committee member Miranda Atatahak. “Every year we’re feeling the support and the love from the community to meet our fundraising goals.”
The money will be put toward Christmas food hampers for 175 families. The hampers are scheduled to be distributed on Dec. 22. The more people who volunteer to deliver the hampers, the better, Atatahak said.
Some of the funds will also be used to purchase toys for children up to age 12. As well, the Christmas Committee will run a breakfast program while the schools are closed during the holiday period, starting on Dec. 20. Last year, the free breakfasts attracted up to 60 people at a time, said Atatahak.
She noted that fellow Christmas Committee member Nadene McMenemy catered a “delicious” dinner for the Christmas Gala and the entertainment that night was provided by a band formed by local teachers, known as When Necessary. She added that the hamlet has provided plenty of logistical support as well.
In addition to Atatahak and McMenemy, the Christmas Committee comprises Angele Kuliktana, Chelsea Adjun, Anne Garrett, Doreen Evyagotailak, Julianne Angulalik, Chelsea Akana, Lashawna Taipana, Lori Rudyk, Mark Franche and Matt Craddock.