Special to The Pilot
Our Twillingate – New World Island Dinner Theatre troupe are getting together for the last time in 2017 to celebrate another wonderful theatre season. We are also celebrating the culmination of the Christmas Hamper fundraiser - started by yours truly and former Town of Twillingate mayor, Gordon Noseworthy, a few years ago – with the delivery of $14,000 worth of food and goods to families in need from Twillingate to Gander Bay and all points in between.
When Gordon and I started the program, we wanted to provide people of all ages, goods for Christmas that they would otherwise have trouble procuring. At the time, we had no idea of the magnitude of need in the region but this year delivered 80 hampers and say they could have delivered many more. This might be difficult to believe, but the need is very real and until you see it for yourself you have no idea.
In order to demonstrate the level of need in our region, I asked the theatre troupe, my father Lloyd and Lion’s Club member Bob Stockley, to help deliver hampers this year. Lion Bob Stockley told me, after the hampers were delivered, that it made his Christmas. Other members of the delivery group said the same thing. The act of giving is so easy but very few do it and that is something I will never understand.
I also want to say a huge thank you to Cape Broyle resident, Barry Hawkins, and his family, who helped collect sale items from all the local grocery stores in the St. John’s area. I am grateful for the time you gave and I won’t forget that.
I was asked if the hamper project would go ahead again next year, and the answer is yes. Of course, I wish there was no need, but next year we hope to fill more baskets. I was also asked why we are so passionate about this program. Well, when you give a basket and see that smile or tear of joy forming in the corner of the eyes, it is all worth it. We do it because we want to continue to give back to communities that have given us so much over the years, and, because there is a desperate need at this time of year. On that note, I want to encourage all residents in the area, who are capable of supporting the Christmas Hamper Project, to show their support with donations in the up and coming year.
On behalf of myself, Cathy, Gordon Noseworthy, my father Lloyd, the dinner theatre troupe and all who had a hand in raising funds, donating, compiling and delivering Christmas hampers, we want to wish you all, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Ernie Watkins and staff of the Twillingate-New World Island Dinner Theatre Troupe