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Government staff on First Avenue are in the holiday spirit

Over the past year elves at the Ontario Government Building on First Avenue have been hard at work fundraising in order to help nine area charities and their clients have a great Christmas.
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Over the past year elves at the Ontario Government Building on First Avenue have been hard at work fundraising in order to help nine area charities and their clients have a great Christmas.

The 420 plus staff in the building, who work for a variety ministries and branches, gathered together Thursday for a celebration gift delivery complete with a concert from the staff band.

Event organizer Lori Brooks says the nine charity trees sponsored by different employee groups and most, if not all, sections do some type of fundraising for a charity of their choice year round.

“We have 50/50 draws, bake sales, raffles, etc. to raise money throughout the year.”

“And there are also a lot of sections that, along with sponsoring a charity tree, will sponsor a needy family at the holiday season,” she notes.

Brooks explains that various agencies throughout North Bay provide anonymous information about a family in need (first names, ages, sizes, interests, etc.) and in turn employees raise funds and purchase items such as toys, clothing , household items, and grocery gift cards that the family would need and or want at Christmas

“I have to say, I have been working at this building for 16 years and I am always overwhelmed by the generosity of the staff here. Each and every person in this building steps up when it comes to helping someone less fortunate.”

“It's truly amazing.”

The nine charities benefiting from the staff’s efforts are:

Charity: All Heart Pet Rescue
Rep: Kathy Jeanneault Since early 1997 All Heart Pet Rescue has been rescuing animals. A lot has been learned since they first began, and they are still learning every day. Each rescue that comes into our place gets a new lease on life. They are given unconditional love from day one. Some of them never having experienced this. Many dogs we get in come from families that have not considered how much a pet changes your life. Each pet is a LIFE TIME COMMITMENT.

We try and educate each person wanting to adopt. Not only is a dog a pretty face, but also a living, breathing being that does have a personality of its own. So, if you have come here today to adopt a specific breed, we "hope" that you have done some research on the breed.

Charity: North Bay Humane Society

Rep: Daryl Vaillancourt / Sue Gauthier The North Bay Humane Society is governed by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which is a program under the Public Safety Division.

Animals are subject to specific conditions, care and other regulations under the Government of Ontario, as such here are several of the Acts pertaining to various Acts of Ontario. Staff are trained and licenced by the OSPCA and they have the authority to investigate, confiscate animals and lay charges against owners. The Society is funded through Service Contracts within Nipissing District and Area. Also, the Society has been appointed Pound Keeper and Animal Control Officer. Under these contracts, they enforce animal control by-laws.

Other sources of revenue are licence tags, adoption fees, surrender fees, pound fees and donations/fundraising. It is a non-profit organization.

Charity: Canadian Cancer Society Local Transportation Fund

Rep: Susan Plamondon
Through the Hope Blooms campaign, the Canadian Cancer Society Local Transportation fund help people who need to travel to cancer related appointments and is a way we can keep the money raised here in North Bay.

This campaign is in honour of our fallen co-worker, Linda Budnick Toner, our friend, co-worker and Chief Steward of our local, who passed away on October 23, 2012 after a long battle with cancer, as well as all of our friends and relatives who have been touched by cancer. The Hope Blooms campaign enables each one of us to make a difference in our community and helps in the fight against this terrible disease

Charity: North Bay Crisis Centre

Rep: Kristine Woods, Executive Director The Crisis Centre of North Bay is a registered charity, incorporated in 1972, to: Assist persons in personal crisis by providing them with temporary room and board, and to establish, maintain and operate premises for such purposes, and to provide such persons care, rehabilitation and other necessary services through inter-relationship with the staff while in temporary residence and to provide assistance to such persons in re-establishing themselves in the community.

Residential and Non-Residential programs are supported. Donations and fund raising remain a vital part of the Crisis Centre.

Charity: Children's Aid Society

Rep: Lise Boucher and Gisele Hebert will be attending. The Nipissing & Parry Sound Children's Aid Society is a community service agency which works to ensure the best interests, protection and wellbeing of children. The Nipissing and Parry Sound CAS has served more than 4300 families in last fiscal year throughout North Bay, Sturgeon Falls, Mattawa, Burk's Falls, Parry Sound and other communities with our district.

Charity: North Bay Food Bank

Providing food and other essentials to people in the community who are unable to provide for themselves.

Charity: LIPI (Low Income People Involvement)

Rep: Tanya Low Income People Involvement has been in existence since 1985. Their staff of 4 focus on the prevention of homelessness, housing sustainability and advocacy for those in need. One of their many programs include the Santa Needs Help Campaign. 2012 marks the 18th year for the Toy Drive with the focus on "you pay your bills and we'll look after Christmas". In 2011, they assisted 575 kids and 284 families. This year, they will be well over 300 families.

Charity: Alzheimer's Society

Rep: Linda Brown and another colleague The Alzheimer's Society is dedicated to alleviating the personal and social consequences of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders to promote research. The Society of North Bay & District provides free education and support for those affected, including family and caregiver's, as well as an Art as Therapy program. The Teddy Bear program is unique because handmade teddy bears benefit an individual with dementia by relieving loneliness, fear and anxiety. The bears also help the caregiver by providing comfort to the Alzheimer's sufferer during times when the caregiver is busy. Every year, the charity collects and donates teddy bears to residents in our Long Term Care facilities. As the number of people with this disease rises, so does the need for Teddy Bears. Last year, over 200 bears were donated (upon request).