After the Grind Owner Chris Kein and Blackfalds FCSS Coasts for Kids Organizer Karie Ackerman put on the fourth annual Blackfalds Community Warmth Fundraiser. (Todd Colin Vaughan/LACOMBE EXPRESS)

4th annual Blackfalds Community Warmth fundraiser helps kids in need

Fundraiser supports Blackfalds FCSS Coats for Kids program

The Blackfalds Community Warmth Fundraiser returned for the fourth year to support Blackfalds FCSS’s Coats for Kids program.

This year the program, which provides winter coats for kids in need, is supporting 100 kids throughout the community.

Chris Kein, owner of After the Grind Coffee Shop and organizer of the event, said the event is a way for the community to come together and support a great cause in a fun way.

“We are hoping to hit about the $6,000 mark tonight. We have had great success in the past and it is a fun evening. We have After the Grind catering the food, we have Don Swift playing music and we have Rick Horn coming in for the dessert auction,” he said before the event.

Kein said the event runs due to the generous donation of volunteer time and this year, the event is the largest it has ever been,

“We actually had to cap it because we ran out of time for food prep — we are at around 90 participants and we started at 40. After the last four years as people have come to known what it is and how much fun it is — they like to come out and celebrate the evening,” he said.

The need for coats in the community has went down this year, which means funds raised this year will be able to help kids this year and beyond.

“There are about 13 families that moved out this year that normally take part in the program and they have multiple kids. This year we are at 100 and range between 100 to 130. At 100, that means the fundraiser sets us up a bit for next year,” he said.

The fundraiser sprung up after Coats for Kids lost a donor four years ago.

“This was something we could do to help. It is a real grassroots and it is community oriented . It berthed out of a couple ideas and people coming together,” he said.

Kein said the fundraiser allows Blackfalds residents to do more than just a simple donation.

“It is very practical and it is more than just giving money: They come out, sit around the table and have fun night. There are different things with the craft beer tasting and live music. It is always fun,” he said.

If you would like to donate to Coats for Kids, you can contact Blackfalds FCSS.

“If they are interested in volunteering, let us know for next year. We are always looking for volunteers and we are also looking for ways to reduce the costs in the kitchen,” he said.

Kein added, “Thank you for coming out and supporting us.”

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