The busiest weekend of the year on the West End got off to a great start Friday night with the annual Cherish Our Children fundraiser at the Akalat in La Push. The committee reports almost $20,000 was raised in those few short hours! The money raised will go to fund the Cherish Our Children Gift Giving program. The program purchases gifts for children in the communities of La Push and Forks.
Up bright and early Saturday morning it was time for the annual Breakfast with Santa at the Congregational Church, a joint fundraiser between the Congregational Church and West End Business and Professional Association. People started arriving before 8 a.m. and Santa worked straight through until 11 a.m. Over 150 photos were taken with Santa and just short of 400 breakfasts were served. This event is a family tradition for many individuals and families.
Members of the Church did the cooking, WEBPA took care of taking the photos and printing them on the spot and students from Shelley Castellano’s Culinary Arts Class at FHS helped serve.
Santa then had a short break before he was chauffeured to Forks Outfitters by Fire Chief Bill Paul, for the Santa Bucks drawing. I heard Santa also made an appearance at the VFW’s annual Christmas Bazaar.
Saturday evening the annual Twinkle Light Holiday Parade was a dry one. Apologies to anyone that arrived late as the lead float got a little excited to get things started and took off a few minutes early. Thanks to all that participated and the city and Forks Police Department for assisting with the short street closure.
Santa also shared the following, “I had a great time Saturday and I had to share one very special and interesting thing with you. While waiting for the parade to start a lady came up to me and she was talking on the phone. She explained that she was on the phone with someone in Vietnam, probably family. Anyway, I gave them a HoHoHo and a Merry Christmas and she responded that they had wished Santa a Merry Christmas too. So we were international Saturday night!”
After the parade, Santa did the honors of lighting the tree at the triangle. The tree this year was donated by Artie Anderson with the assistance of Bruce Guckenberg and thanks to the city for help with the lights. WEBPA also purchased extra lights this year for the tree and Paul Hampton found the wonderful star that sits on top.
After the parade, the RAC was packed with people checking out the trees and wreaths that were up for bid on Sunday afternoon.
The turnout was a good one for the 24th annual Soroptimists Festival of Trees Sunday afternoon at the RAC. Things got off to a wonderful start as the first tree was purchased by Devennie Anderson and she asked that the Carstensen family, who recently lost their home and belongings to a fire, pick out the tree they wanted. Anderson also purchased a second tree that was also donated to another person dealing with the unimaginable at this time. Soroptimist President Cathy Johnson said Anderson’s thoughtful acts were cause for many tears from those attending.
On Monday Johnson reported the annual auction brought in just over $20,000! For those crazy people that want to get started on their tree for 2020, which will be the 25th year for the Festival of Trees Auction in Forks, the theme will be “Peace on Earth.”