The Spirit of Sylvan Yuletide Festival’s new mascot Sparkles made his first public appearance during a visit to the Sylvan Lake Canadian Tire last Friday, to celebrate the store’s $2,500 donation toward this year’s festival.
The donation means Canadian Tire will be the festival’s main sponsor this year, and will help ensure the festival’s success once again, according to festival committee chair Graham Parsons.
“We’re very fortunate and very grateful to Paul (Ventura, Canadian Tire owner) and Canadian Tire for their generous donation,” he said.
All proceeds from this year’s festival, as has been the case in previous years, will support the Sylvan Lake and Area Urgent Care fundraising initiative.
This is the fourth year of the festival, with proceeds from this year and previous years adding up to over $38,000 collectively so far.
“It’s the most fun time of year and a real community effort,” Parsons said. “The Urgent Care Fund is just a very pleasant byproduct of the festival.”
Ventura said he was happy to hand over the cheque, and felt the contribution was in line with his store’s commitment to supporting the community.
“I am a firm believer in giving back to the community, and it is a great cause,” he said. “I was more than happy to help the cause and to be part of it as well.”
As a sponsor, Ventura said he has the satisfaction of knowing he has helped the community toward its goal of getting an urgent care facility. That, he said, is the biggest benefit of all.
“I love this community — it’s a great community. It’s great to see the volunteers and all the people putting a great effort and initiative into this.”
Ventura and Parsons were joined by Canadian Tire staff and Urgent Care Committee representation at the store last Friday to celebrate the donation. There, Sparkles introduced himself to the community by greeting customers with a hug.