Lianna Lapointe from Urban Wellness with a wreath full of gift cards. Photo courtesy Big Brothers Big Sisters

Lianna Lapointe from Urban Wellness with a wreath full of gift cards. Photo courtesy Big Brothers Big Sisters

Lacombe and Blackfalds Festival of Wreaths moves online for 10th anniversary

The wreaths can be viewed online or at the Lacombe Memorial Centre and Abbey Centre

The Festival of Wreaths will be completely online this year for the first time ever. The fundraiser is organized by Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) and raises money to support children in the community.

The auction works by local businesses donating products or services, which are then displayed in a large Christmas wreath. Traditionally, bidding for the prizes can be done online as well as in-person but this year that has had to change.

There are 50 wreaths that have been adopted by local businesses in Lacombe and Blackfalds. Despite the tough economic year in the province Crystal Zens, Executive Director of BBBS, said this is close to the number of wreaths she would see in a typical year.

“The businesses have spent a lot of hours on their wreaths and have been very generous,” said Zens.

There are many styles of wreaths ranging from traditional Christmas to Star Wars and each varies in value.

“The wreaths are really unique because the businesses put some specialty items like experiences or things from their business that you wouldn’t normally be able to purchase,” said Zens.

“They are full of gift cards and items that would make equally great Christmas presents and help kids that are going through a really tough time.”

A new feature this year is the text updates for when a person is outbid. Zens said bidders now have the option to sign up to receive text messages when they have been outbid on a wreath and can bid in ten dollar increments. This will be helpful when bidding wars begin to arise on the more popular items.

BBBS is hoping to raise $8,000 from the auction with all proceeds going towards programming for youth in the county. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the non-profit has been forced to cancel many of its annual in-person events that help to keep BBBS in operation.

“We’re really relying on the public to share our website and bid on the wreaths,” said Zens who added she has seen enrolment for programs spike due to the pandemic.

“We are lucky enough to have some of our fundraising go online and keep sustains our operation to help the kids.”

Festival of Wreaths bidding can be completed on the BBBS website and is open until Dec. 16. Anyone interested in donating money or volunteer time to BBBS in Lacombe and Blackfalds can do so online.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Erin Sitensky (left) and Rebecca Slater pose with MNP’s 2020 wreath. Photo courtesy Big Brothers Big Sisters

Erin Sitensky (left) and Rebecca Slater pose with MNP’s 2020 wreath. Photo courtesy Big Brothers Big Sisters

Maulik Patel (left) and Nicole Kane from Boston Pizza Blackfalds showcase their 2020 Christmas wreath. Photo courtesy Big Brothers Big Sisters

Maulik Patel (left) and Nicole Kane from Boston Pizza Blackfalds showcase their 2020 Christmas wreath. Photo courtesy Big Brothers Big Sisters

Lacombe Boston Pizza also contributed a wreath this year which Trisha Hiron and Tina Gardiner are holding here. Photo courtesy Big Brothers Big Sisters

Lacombe Boston Pizza also contributed a wreath this year which Trisha Hiron and Tina Gardiner are holding here. Photo courtesy Big Brothers Big Sisters

This fun-loving wreath from Sims and Associates would make the perfect gift for the Star Wars fan in your life. Photo courtesy Big Brothers Big Sisters

This fun-loving wreath from Sims and Associates would make the perfect gift for the Star Wars fan in your life. Photo courtesy Big Brothers Big Sisters

Just Posted

COVID
Red Deer down to 313 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta reports an additional 411 COVID-19 cases

Seniors in the 65-unit Piper Creek Lodge are among those waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Central Alberta senior lodges anxiously waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations

“Should be at the front of the line, not the back of the line”

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Economists “cautiously hopeful” for economic recovery in Alberta

Charles St. Arnaud says Alberta’s recovery will rebound along with roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw acknowledged that Friday would be one year since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the province. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three more Red Deer COVID-19 deaths, 331 active cases in Alberta

Red Deer is down to 362 active cases of the virus

Caitlin Kraft, the sister of Jeffery Kraft, stands third from the left, holding a sign calling for the maximum sentence for Campbell, who is charged with manslaughter. (Photo by Paul Cowley)
UPDATED: Judge again rejects submission of 7-year sentence for slaying of Kraft

Tyler John Campbell charged with second-degree murder for December 2019 homicide

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

A decommissioned pumpjack is shown at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is suspending all of the licences held by an oil and gas producer with more than 2,200 wells and 2,100 pipelines after it failed to bring its operations into compliance. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta Energy Regulator suspends licences of oil and gas producer that owes $67M

The company is being asked to comply with past orders to clean up historic spills and contamination

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Pictured here is Stettler’s Jenner Smith with a guide dog from Aspen Service Dogs. An online auction will be running soon to help raise funds for Jenner to receive his very own service dog later this year. Jenner, who is four years old, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019. photo submitted
An online auction is planned to raise funds for a service dog for a Stettler family

Jenner Smith, four, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of its Janssen subsidiary’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Johnson & Johnson via AP
Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine

It is the 4th vaccine approved in Canada and the 1st that requires just a single dose

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Most Read