An overwhelming wave of support was shown during the 2016 Sylvan Lake RCMP Charity Check Stop on Saturday in Sylvan Lake.
Members of the RCMP, Fire Department, Victim Services and Municipal Enforcement gathered on 47 Ave. to collect cash, food and toy donations from passing persons.
The annual event shattered last year’s totals with a finalized collection amount of $11,500 seeing nearly double the amount of food and toys compared to last year. Considering the size of Sylvan Lake in comparison to larger centres such as Red Deer where around $30,000 was raised this past weekend during Stuff-A-Bus, the event was a stunning success said Jennifer Plotnikoff, Program Coordinator for Sylvan Lake and District Victim Services who organized the check stop. She explained the check stop unbelievably passed last year’s numbers where around $8,000 raised at the Sylvan Charity Checkstop.
For the the officers and emergency personnel present during the 2016 Charity Check Stop, Plotnikoff explained the highlight is always the passing youngsters in vehicles.
“Seeing the children in passing vehicles interact with the officers and the mascots is always really moving,” said Plotnikoff. “One of the cars had two little boys in the back and they handed over toy after toy. They probably donated 12 toys. Watching them hand over the toys so freely was breathtaking. They’re helping and they’re being taught to help other people.
“Another guy had almost the entire box of his truck filled with food and toys. It took four officers to unload everything.”
Plotnikoff explained that while the event’s primary goal is to raise necessary funds and supplies for the Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau, Sylvan Lake Food Bank and the Bentley Christian Christmas Fund – the Charity Check Stop has become much more for the RCMP and emergency services crews who participate.
“We see a very different side throughout the year,” said Plotnikoff. “So when we’re able to see the kids and families supporting the checkstop it makes everyone feel good. It was a very moving day full of community support – absolutely overwhelming community support.”
She added she wished to thank everyone who supported the 2016 Charity Check Stop adding a very special and heart warmed ‘Merry Christmas’ from the Sylvan Lake RCMP, Victim Services, Sylvan Lake Fire and Municipal Enforcement.