Just before Christmas, the community came together to help feed the hungry during the sixth Celebration of Light.
The variety concert featuring local musicians was held Dec. 19 at the Ladysmith Eagles Hall and raised $5,419 for the Ladysmith Food Bank and the Soup Kitchen, with $2,450 of that donated by the Ladysmith Eagles. As well, those who attended the event donated 500 pounds of food.
This year, in addition to supporting the Ladysmith Food Bank, the Celebration of Light also raised money for the Ladysmith Soup Kitchen.
Steven Sharpe, a Ladysmith Resources Centre Association director and Food Bank liaison, and pastor of the Christian Rock Fellowship, which is one of the organizers of the Celebration of Light, says he can’t emphasize enough the vital role that the Eagles had in making the Soup Kitchen a reality.
“When I look back, it took me a year of searching for a suitable location, and if it was not for the Eagles’ willingness to give us a 10-week trial from April 1 to June 5, we might still be looking for a facility,” he said. “Not only that, but the members of the Eagles made all the soup for the first 10 weeks in their kitchen. Plus, they provide their hall every year for the Celebration of Light at no cost and give the Soup Kitchen a discounted rate on the rent when we continued to use their facility on an ongoing basis. Gord and Glenda Patterson have worked very hard to make us feel at home in their place. They truly are ‘People, Helping People.’”
During the Celebration of Light, Sharpe said the Soup Kitchen has been feeding 50-70 people each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon at the Eagles Hall.
“These people are coming because they’re hungry, and the Food Bank is no longer enough,” he said. “There is a lot of need in this town, and I want to say thank you to all who care.”
Sharpe thanked all the people who work together to make the Celebration of Light, now in its sixth year, a success.
The Celebration of Light started in Skellig band members Lisa and Chris Burness’ basement and raised $1,000, and in the last couple of years, it has raised $4,000 to $4,500.