On December 22, 2016 SaultOnline.com visited the Station Mall to see what the atmosphere was like 3 days before Christmas.
At a first glance, one would see various people walking around, shopping and meeting for coffee with friends. It was like visiting a whole other community within the community of Sault Ste. Marie. Although if one were to dig deeper and discover why certain people were at the mall, one would find that there are many people who deserve recognition for the work that they do in support of the holiday season.
Our first stop was made at the gift wrapping station just outside of Roots where we met with Marion Koprash and Vicky Taylor. Marion is a volunteer at the Steelton Senior Centre and Vicky is the Recreation Programmer for the Steelton Senior Centre.
“This is our main fundraiser for Club 235, that’s the seniors group that are housed at the Steelton Senior Centre” shared Vicky. “All the funds go back to the club and are used for providing activities and events for seniors 55 years plus.”
The gift wrap has been present in the Station Mall for over 20 years now and it takes a lot of people power to make this fundraiser happen and to make it successful. Which is why Vicky encourages students and adults to come out and volunteer!
If one were to continue down the mall towards the movie theatre, one will be sure to find tables set up for both the Sault Star Santa Fund and Crime Stoppers.
“Donations for The Santa Fund are down this year. The Santa Fund is the money that supports the meals Christmas Cheer sends out each year. 1,800 families (approx) who need turkeys, potatoes, and more. We need $95,000 – $100,000 to float the programme. We’re at $55,000 – $57,000 presently. I expected we would be down, due to the economic situation in Sault Ste. Marie, but we are way down,” shared Alice Hill, who was joined at the table with Andy Kozak in support of the Santa Fund.
Andy Kozak, is also a Volunteer and Board member for Crime Stoppers and he was willing to give us a moment of his time as well to discuss their fundraiser. “We almost didn’t have anything left in the fund last year,” Kozak shared. “All of our fundraising efforts goes towards paying tipsters and the $10.00 ticket is a great stocking stuffer! The lucky winning ticket will receive a $5,000 shopping spree and second prize is for $500.00.”
As we continued through the mall, we stumbled across Knights of Columbus volunteers, Gary Acosta and Gerry Duffy. The fellows shared with SaultOnline that the winning ticket for Big Wish Lottery was sold at the Station Mall for 2 of the last 3 years!
All in all, with Christmas falling on Sunday we can expect that Friday and Saturday will be two of the biggest retail days of the year, even bigger than boxing day! So if you haven’t done your Christmas shopping yet, there’s only 2 days left!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!