Hastings Elementary School welcomed over 650 people -mostly families- last week for the 18th Annual Inner City Community Christmas Dinner. Guests were served a delicious hot turkey Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, prepared and catered by Templeton Secondary School Culinary Arts students.
The evening included music by Hastings Elementary students and a surprise visit by Santa.
"The overwhelming success of this Christmas dinner is a direct result of the generous support made from individuals, organizations and financial institutions," says Jennifer Scott, Community Schools Coordinator.
Fundraising for the event was spearheaded by Seabridge Marine, which raised money from a variety of generous local sponsors and companies from Vancouver's Marine Industry.
A total of $29,400 was raised this year, which provided the funding for the Community Dinner and also partially covers the annual budget for the Kids First Program and other school programs. A hugely successful program for vulnerable students, the Kids First Program runs daily after school and provides snacks, homework support and supervised physical activity for close to 100 students.
"This annual dinner supports our most vulnerable students and their families, not just through this wonderful event, but in the programs that are directly supported by the funds raised," says Steve Cardwell, VSB Superintendent. "Being able to contribute in even a small way to this important community endeavour brings a warm positive feeling for all of the volunteers."
Over 75 community volunteers came out to serve meals and support the event including Hastings, Tillicum and Templeton school staff, Templeton school students, Vancouver School Board staff and trustees, as well as staff from local banks.
"We have been involved in this event for over ten years and continue to be impressed by the community spirit we see at Hastings/Tillicum," says Scott Lindsay of Seabridge Marine. "What I really like about this fundraising effort is that 100% of the Proceeds go directly to the School Programs, with no administrative or overhead costs; our sponsors support dollars get applied 100% to support this event and the critical programs provided by the Hastings School."
Event organizers would like to thank the event's generous sponsors for supporting both the Christmas Party and the Kids First Program.
Table Sponsors ($1000 or over): Arbutus Grove Capital Corp., Mercury Launch & Tug, Seabridge Marine Services Ltd., Shift Strategy + Design, Parrish & Heimbecker, Seaspan, Metro Vancouver, AON Reed Stenhouse, Blue Ruby, Hills of Kerrisdale, Island Tug and Barge, Lesley Stow Fine Foods, Neptune Terminals, Oldendorff Carriers, SMIT Marine Canada, TSI Terminals, TD Bank - Hastings Branch, Waterfront Chartering, Marylene & Arthur Bensler, Diana & Bruce Chan, Scott & Lana Lindsay
Other Sponsors: Roger's Sugar, 3688 Investments Ltd., Tidal Transport & Trading Ltd., Northwest Realty, Julie & Jonathan Whitworth, The Co-Operators, RBC - Hastings Branch, Mario & Karen Lafuente
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