Amie Dow—a bartender and server at Ashcroft’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch #113—and the branch’s bar manager, Steve Clark, hope to start a new tradition: an annual Legion Christmas party for the children in the area served by the branch, whether a member of their family is a Legion member or not.
“The idea has been okayed by the board of Branch #113,” says Dow, adding that the idea for the party came after she and Clarke visited Clinton Legion Branch #194 last December and heard about the annual Christmas party they hold.
“I thought ‘Why don’t we do that and start a tradition here?’ I remember going to Legion Christmas parties when I was a child in Cloverdale. I looked forward to it all year.”
Clark, who grew up in Cache Creek, says he can’t remember the Ashcroft Legion ever holding such an event. “But we have a pretty good idea of what they’ve done in Clinton.”
Dow says that while they haven’t worked out all the details, they do know they want the event to become an annual tradition. “It will be an all-day event. We’re looking at Christmas cookie decorating, face painting, kids’ entertainment, gifts, hot dogs, refreshments, all at no charge.” She confirms that there will also be an appearance by Santa Claus, and says she hopes to build a bit of a North Pole display in the Legion.
A number of fundraising ideas have already been considered, and the first will be a chili cook-off, with members of the public purchasing a ticket to sample the various dishes concocted by participants. No date has been set, but Dow says that it will be coming soon. She adds that anyone who wants to give a hand with fundraising, or who has any fundraising ideas, is encouraged to be in touch with her or Clark.
“We just want to bring the community together, and hold something that kids and families can look forward to,” says Dow. “I think it would be a great tradition. And the Legion is all about community.”
“We’re right at the beginning of organizing this,” says Clark. “But we want to make something nice for the community.”
Children will have to register in advance for the event. To help out or get more information, email Dow at firstname.lastname@example.org or Clark at email@example.com.