Thirty days hath November, however we are already feeling the excitement of Christmas that is coming upon us. There are so many things upcoming right here in your own community this next few weeks so you will want to stay tuned to this column, your local paper, posters around town and social media posts to keep on top of all the latest and greatest that is upcoming in Unity.
Before I continue into this column, as because I missed saying it in the deadline for last week’s column, I want to wish Becky Doig much health and happiness in her retirement. While I may have been as surprised as some others at her write-up in the Nov. 8th issue, I am always happy to learn when people I know are choosing this path by choice and not by health or other dictated matters. I enjoyed working with Becky, although much of it was cyber communication. She was patient with my many questions and many inquiries. Welcome, Jayne, to the ed-chair and, while we are also already familiar from electronic communication, I look forward to working with the keyboard of this familiarity.
Last week’s tragic death of a Rosetown firefighter on duty at a highway accident is another reminder to appreciate the work of our own protective services people who answer these emergency calls never knowing what the outcome will be for those involved in the call. Prayers to his family and the community of Rosetown who are mourning his loss.
There is never lack of news, events, activities and kudos to report on weekly in this column; and for that I am thankful.
As we enter the last month of 2018 with a calendar full of events and activities, I remind everyone to watch not only this column that comes to you free each week in bins at your local post office. It’s because of advertisers that we are able to get all of this news to residents in our community and interested readers in all the communities that this paper serves. As well, advertising in our own local newspaper, the Press-Herald, also keeps readers and subscribers up to date on all the happenings that take place either by advertisement pre event or in the stories this paper includes either preluding the event/activity/news or in a story after things have happened. Posters around town are another method for you to be in the know. All of these methods have been graciously paid for by the advertiser enabling these methods of news to get to you. Let’s keep supporting our newspaper industry as they give us the stories within the stories as well as the makings of these events and activities and the success story that follows them. In essence, we appreciate our readers but much of our newspaper content is thanks to advertisers.
December will include a full calendar of events sure to include something for everyone.
Let’s also make sure it includes community camaraderie as we support the Secret Santa campaign, the local food bank and other community charities that rely on our support to remain viable.
In that same subject of support, please include your local businesses in your Christmas plans whether it is shopping, dining out, enjoying coffee with friends and neighbours, going to a movie or being able to enjoy the full slate of professional services offered here. All of these same businesses have supported Unity’s success story all year by sponsoring or donating to all of the community events and activities, volunteering at various events including Meals on Wheels and be as involved in our community as anyone can be.
Nothing says Christmas spirit like a random act of kindness. Shovel a seniors walk or drive way, offer to run errands for a busy or senior neighbor, buy coffee for the next guy in line, purchase something extra in your weekly grocery list for the food bank, giving a treat to your favorite store’s employees or something special for those gas pump attendants that work year round in cold, rain, big heat and other weather conditions. And, when thinking of RAKs you could perform never forget our town workers as well as our protective services and EMS divisions as without them we would be lost. The list of possibilities is endless.
The Unity Lions club is now selling their live Christmas trees at Hollyhock’s greenhouse each day as well as will be available Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.
The Winter Wonderland events are many and you won’t want to miss this fun downtown activity that so far includes more than 25 different activities, some of which are: snowman/ice sculpture creation contest at Town Square with prizes for best ones; Kin Club Survivor finale at Unity Motor Products, Delta Co-op food store has activity, Unity Credit Union once again hosting sleigh rides and hot chocolate, St. Peter’s school is holding a bake sale at Co-op food store, Rise and Grind coffee shop has cake pop decorating, Hollyhocks greenhouse has a kids craft event going on, the Library is giving out free book bags and bookmarks to visitors, Wildeman’s sports has an ugly sweater contest, Prairie Branches is hosting a bake sale and hot chocolate event, UCHS students are bell ringing for charity and handing out candy grams, and Unity Asian foods is giving out free food samples as a thank you to the community for their support this year.
It is only 26 days until Christmas! Even though some of the events listed here included shopping, Christmas has more to offer us than shopping and presents and our community hosts a wide array of events and activities that include more than just shopping excursions. Even if it is as simple as grabbing a friend or shut-in to check out the beautiful light displays around town. Or watch for Gary Scott cruising around town in that fantastic Christmas truck; it is a delight for young and old alike.
Here is a “things to do list” in Unity:
Adopt A Grandparent in our local Long Term Care for Christmas this year. Donations are only $20 each and each senior will be getting a special gift. Organizers are looking for 32 donations, with their children helping delivering the gifts with Santa. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and will put a smile on a senior’s face. Contact Audra Lynn Nelson for details.
Dec. 1, the last Christmas “Mall in the Hall” event takes place at the Anglican Church Hall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with plenty of unique shopping opportunities.
Dec. 1, the annual Chamber-sponsored Santa Day takes place at 2nd Avenue Theatre, with this sponsorship allowing free admission to either a morning or afternoon movie, along with a treat bag for all kids and an opportunity to get your picture taken with Santa. Show times are 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Dec. 2, this Sunday, the annual “Christmas Service of Remembrance” takes place at St. Peter’s church to help heal and comfort all those who lost loved ones this past year. A beautiful service full of music and comforting words and assurances with refreshments to follow the service. Musical prelude begins at 1:30 and service is at 2 p.m.
Dec. 6, the annual, much anticipated “Winter Wonderland” community Christmas kick off festivities takes place in downtown Unity, offering multiple events, activities, sales and promotions to residents and visitors alike. Thank the organizers and those hosting by supporting this event.
Dec. 7, Christmas Sale at Unity Heritage Museum with plenty of unique shopping opportunities
Dec. 8, Christmas Crafting with She-Cuts Vinyls at the Adanac Hall, must pre-register by contacting Sheena Weber.
Dec. 9 is the annual Wildlife Scoring Night at the Agroplex. Tickets will also be available for the annual Wildlife supper in February (which is always a sell out).
Coming up in two short weeks are the UCHS drama productions Dec. 12 and 13. Stay tuned for all the latest updates on this terrific live theatre experience.
Dec. 16, Unity Community Carol Festival at UCHS gym with a 2 p.m. start time.
Dec. 17 is Secret Santa volunteer hamper assembly with deliveries to follow at St. Peter’s Hall starting at 7 p.m.
Dec. 20th nomination deadline for Unity Sports Wall of Fame.
More occurrences of winter weather assure us that winter is likely here to stay. But fear not, while some folks may count down to the shortest day of the year, others like me want to say that same date (Dec. 21) may be the shortest day of the year but starts the turnover back to extending our daylight hours once again, even though Enviro Canada, AccuWeather and Farmer’s Almanac have conflicting predictions of what winter holds.
It is Christmas party season and while we don’t have a taxi service, there are other options to making safe ride arrangements.
With consecutive weekends of volleyball playoffs in the works I wasn’t able to get results from Nov. 10 weekend in the Nov. 22nd issue. The senior girls won their conference and placed at Regionals to advance to Provincials however their provincial run, even though it took them to playoffs, did not earn them a medal, but a fabulous season nonetheless. The Senior boys won their conference and travelled all the way to LaLoche for their Regionals and, boy, did they make it exciting. However once down to the final four, they were unsuccessful in earning a provincial berth. Congratulations to these teams for an exciting season and farewell to those Grade 12 players who were fan favorites throughout their high school play.
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 mid-December and look forward to the support of students, family, friends and community members.
UPS held their first term student led conferences for students, teachers and parents to come together to review progress for their student. Ms. Poppleton has started assembling her Christmas choir to perform at the school’s annual concert as well as potential participation in the community’s Carol Festival.
At St. Peter’s School, student led conferences are now completed for term one and students have moved into term two learning in their school year. As well, the school prepares for the Season of Advent. Mrs. Keller is also busy preparing all the musical talent in St. Peter’s both with the band and choirs as they ready for performances in school, at mass and in the community.
Unity Curling club is ready to rock their Ugly Christmas sweaters this December, and judging from past year’s displays those taking part at the UCC this season are in for some entertainment. UCC are already welcoming teams to enter their annual Boxing Day fun spiel on Dec. 26. 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.
With 18 cards left in the deck, the very elusive Ace of Spades has not been won and the jackpot has grown beyond $17,000! 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 benefiting multiple community groups and programs so even if you don’t personally win, the community wins from this fundraiser.
‘Tis the weeks leading up to where consumerism amps up as everyone wants to capture your Christmas shopping dollars. Make sure you think of your local businesses and shop at a store with a door. These are the same businesses that are supporting, sponsoring, donating to or volunteering at all of our community events and activities. There is always free parking and personalized service. A great downtown core as well as a variety of other businesses can simplify your Christmas shopping experience. Or if you are tired of gift giving or receiving things you don’t really need – consider donating to your favorite community charity instead – that is sure to be a gift well received and appreciated and guaranteed to create a smile on both the giver and the receiver.
Coffee row folks are just as excited as everyone about all that is on tap for December in our community. These seasoned community veterans know that organizers, groups and folks put a lot of thought and time into hosting multiple events in our community so they love to see all of these things get the great support they deserve. 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…