Christmas gifts collected at Tuesday’s Wish Breakfast have been flying off the shelves at the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre, operations manager Vanessa Riplinger said Wednesday morning.
“It is 11:30 a.m and 448 presents have gone out already,” Riplinger said.
Co-sponsored by the Ramada Inn and Goat FM Radio, the event saw around 600 breakfasts served and 640 gifts and $5,000 received in donations.
“This event is always about giving back to the community,” Riplinger said.
The amounts were down from 2015 when more than 900 gifts were donated, Riplinger said, but noted CDC staff have already gone shopping for more gifts and were expected to go buy more.
Praising all of the volunteers who helped make it a success, including members of the Daybreak Rotary Club, Riplinger made special mention of Minister of State for Rural Economic Development Donna Barnett for her help.
“Donna arrived to help serve coffee at 6 a.m. after driving from 100 Mile House,” Riplinger said. “She signs up every year and stays all morning. She is just great.”
Mayor Walt Cobb was there “bright and early as well,” but left to fly out for a local government leader workshop in Vancouver.
Each year the donated gifts are picked up from the CDC the next day by various agencies within Williams Lake and the region for distribution to children in need.
“The money we collect is used to cover food costs for the breakfast and everything left over goes toward purchasing additional gifts,” Riplinger said.
In addition to enjoying a full breakfast, guests were treated to the musical talents of local children under the direction of Angela Sommer’s Angelkeys Music Studio.
The slideshow below depicts some of the children who performed including Darby-Lynne Ferguson, Ella Thiessen, Julia Ziegler, Daelin Riplinger and the SD27 Home School Choir, and volunteers such as Tom Watkinson, Dakota Jack and Jacob Funk with Riplinger who helped clean up, and 15-month-old Jack Bourdon trying out a rocking horse made by Peter Smith.