December is here and what a fun month it will be in Unity. The community welcomes residents and visitors alike to all of the activity lined up this month. Be sure to mark your calendars with everything that is upcoming here.
Before I write one more word, I want to wish my B-i-L Larry a very happy birthday.
I’d also like to wish the other half of my Maidstone faithful a speedy recovery from her recent surgery, thinking of you, Clare.
Congratulations, Kaybree Spendelow, who is a second gold medalist with Royal Conservatory of Music winning for level four voice, taught by Bari Bertoia. Gold medals are achieved each academic year to those students who achieved the highest mark on their RCM exam for their level, discipline and region.
Once again we owe our gratitude and appreciation to our local firefighters. They attended an all day training seminar in Macklin on Nov. 24 that involved multiple other fire departments. Training included STARS landing zones, SaskEnergy natural gas safety awareness and the PA crew presented their rapid response team capabilities. Those in attendance also performed a bell ceremony and observed a moment of silence in remembrance of fallen Rosetown firefighter Darrell Morrison. Members of Unity Fire Department also attended the service for Morrison on Nov. 27. This is a reminder that these folks are volunteer firefighters and they give up their own time for continued training, and Darrell’s loss reminds us all of the dangers they face with each and every call they take part in.
Tonight is the night! It’s that time of year again when the festive community Christmas kick off to Winter Wonderland will take place in downtown Unity. The event evolved from the now defunct winter lights parade when Unity Credit Union saw the desire for community camaraderie before Christmas with an activity, and so began their small event named Winter Wonderland. Each year the event grew with more businesses and eventually groups and organizations joining in making for a free, fun, fabulous community event. Expanded variety of activities has taken place over the years that have ranged from cookie decorating to musical performances. Santa has almost always made an appearance somewhere during the event. This year there are 31 activities registered as part of this event. Winter Wonderland draws people to downtown Unity as it offers multiple activities for all generations to participate in, with many of the activities hosted being free to the participant. Activities range from cookie decorating, street hockey with the Miners, bake sale, gingerbread house workshop, ornament creation and so much more. There are several new activities on tap this year including the Unity Library and Unity Asian foods coming on board for the event. Not only hosting activities, a number of businesses also offer special deals to customers, just for that evening.
The event takes place regardless of the weather. Some years people endured temperatures in the minus 40 range to venture from activity to activity to participate. Other years, like 2018, those taking in the event enjoyed warmer weather enabling both the hosts of activities and those participating in them plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors and all that was being offered for event goers.
The one binding factor that brings this event together is that residents and visitors alike, as well as those hosting events, love the energy and atmosphere Winter Wonderland creates. This event offers a generally free fun family event. It brings about community camaraderie. It offers a variety of events, activities and promotions that aren’t otherwise happening in town. Additionally, it gives businesses the opportunity to capitalize on potential increased traffic in the downtown core and they offer to open extended hours, as well as many host activities themselves. There is also no lack of Christmas spirit as a bonus to this event.
What’s remarkable about this event as there is absolutely no budget and a small committee of four setting it up. The committee agrees that their work becomes easier each year as people have increased awareness of how terrific this event is and want to be a part of it whether as a hosting party or a participant. It’s another demonstration of commitment to community and the choice to give back to the community they serve that businesses, organizations and groups host an activity to combine for the Winter Wonderland event line up.
Unity Curling Club had some big excitement the evening of Nov. 27 when a surprise visitor popped into a private booking. Olympic men’s curling gold medalist 2010 and Olympic mixed doubles gold medalist 2017, John Morris popped into the rink to see if anyone wanted to throw a few stones. It’s not every day a celebrity just arrives in town and enters one of our fine facilities so this definitely was the talk of the town for a few days. J-Mo graciously posed for a few pix and signed a few autographs before departing. We didn’t hear of any other celebrity sightings of him in town that weekend. Thanks to UCC executive, the curling club is always presented in the best way possible so Morris would have taken home a great impression of our little curling club that always impresses those who come visit it.
After the tail end of November finished off with the start of Christmas activities, here is a December “things to do list” in Unity: (and remember, there are often events/activities added weekly)
Dec. 7 is a Christmas shopping extravaganza at the Adanac Hall at the Unity Museum for some unique shopping opportunities.
Dec. 9 the annual Wildlife Scoring Night takes place at the Agroplex 2-7 p.m.
Dec. 12-13, UCHS drama team has worked long and hard on their two winter productions that include a comedy, The Good, The Bad and The Not-so-Prettyas well as the musical Magical Land of Oz. They will appreciate your support for their efforts. Doors open at 7 each night
Dec. 14 the Midget AA Lazers have a home game at 8 p.m.
Dec. 15 is the Christmas Craft event at the Adanac Hall at the museum, contact Sheena Weber to register.
Dec. 16 is the annual Community Carol Festival, sure to put even Scrooge in the Christmas spirit.
Dec. 18 it’s a 7:30 p.m. puck drop for the Midget AA Lazers at the rink
Dec. 18 and 20 are the elementary schools annual Christmas concerts.
Dec. 20 “Grand in Your Hand” Chamber-sponsored Christmas promotion draw
Dec. 21 and 22, the Midget AA Lazers will host their last home games until the New Year. Come see this exciting young team as they aim to keep atop of the SMAAL standings.
Dec. 24 Christmas Eve Services at all community churches, watch for more details on times in an upcoming column.
Dec. 26 the Unity Curling club hosts the annual Boxing Day bonspiel. Are you registered yet?
Dec. 29, the Unity Miners will host their only home game this month. Plenty of local talent to cheer for on this team.
The Unity Chamber of Commerce and its members have once again sponsored the “Grand in Your Hand’ draw received from entries at participating businesses from purchases made at their locations. One or more lucky winners will receive Chamber Bucks from names drawn from all the combined entries at participating businesses. So keep shopping local and you will be entered at participating businesses for this big bonus to be drawn for on Dec. 20.
At UCHS, they head into December with plenty of energy for the next stage of academics as well as Warrior sports season of curling and basketball. UCHS drama are getting more excited to showcase these well rehearsed productions coming up Dec. 12 and 13, and look forward to the support of students, family, friends and community members. SADD will be extra active this season reminding everyone their mandate of Students Against Drinking and Distracted Driving.” The junior robotics team will host a showcase this month. Kudos to the ACTIVATE, Leadership and SLC groups who chose to ring bells for charity as part of Winter Wonderland festivities; as well as handing out candy grams and hosting a kids activity – way to represent UCHS!
UPS is amazed they are into their last month of 2018 already. What a full first half of the school year it has been already. The hallways are looking festive and some spirit days are lined up this month for some student fun.
At St. Peter’s School, the season of Advent has begun as students are following a journey as part of their faith learning while preparing for Christmas. Students were excited to learn that Principal Volk will be adding another baby to his family – congratulations to him and his wife and their kids on the upcoming addition. Dec. 9 there will be K of C turkey bingo following mass. The choir will be busy in December as they performed at LTC on Dec. 4. They also sang at Winter Wonderland on Dec. 6, and will perform Dec. 11th at Luther Place as well as participating in the annual carol festival coming up Dec. 16.
Unity Curling Club loves to see those Ugly Christmas sweaters this month. Teams continue to sign up for the annual Boxing Day Bonspiel which offers an excellent opportunity to get moving off the couch after Christmas day while enjoying fun and fellowship with other visiting families. Last year saw a record number of teams participating as many enjoy visiting with other visiting family and friends. You can sign up at the rink or by calling the club at 306-228-2212 or sending a PM to the UCC Facebook page.
If you are wondering what all the traffic is about around the Legion Hall on Wednesdays it’s because people are anxious to experience lady luck’s charm as the elusive Ace of Spades has still not been found and the jackpot is now past the $20,000 mark. Will this Wednesday be your lucky break? Or will the jackpot keep growing as the Ace continues to elude its seekers. Remember this Lions project is benefitting multiple community groups and programs so even if you don’t personally win, the community wins from this fundraiser. Nov. 28’s winner, who was not able to find the ace, chose to donate back his winnings of just over $1,200, saying he appreciates the work the Lions club does and wanted to help them out.
Secret Santa campaign folks are busy being in many places collecting donations for their annual campaign. The committee is thrilled that groups have been earmarking funds from their events towards this noble cause. Secret Santa drop-off points are the Co-op, Family Foods, Riou Law Office. This campaign, in conjunction with the local food bank, aims to make Christmas a little brighter for those in our community who can't afford the Christmas things many of us take for granted. This fine group of ladies has been doing this project for over 30 years. And if you need any help in getting yourself out of Scrooge mode, this is one worthy project to donate your time to.
Community churches are all now celebrating the season of Advent with plenty of Christmas music, atmosphere and celebratory words to be heard. The United Church has begun their annual memorial poinsettia project, filling their sanctuary with beautiful plants throughout December with the names of those in honor or in memory of being named off at the Christmas Eve service. These churches will also host a number of musical recitals for area teachers as they showcase the talents of their students this December. Watch for details on upcoming Christmas Eve services at each of these locations.
You can be assured there will be several choices of bake sales to stock up on some home made goodies for the holidays. Watch for posters and events around town to take part in this opportunity.
Coffee row folks are just as excited as everyone about all that is on tap for December in our community; although admittedly the star sighting of “Johnny-Mo” was certainly a hot topic for several days. So you can see life is full of fun and activity in Unity and our friends at coffee row sharing this traditional part of our community culture. Until next time...