Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas - December update

Merry Christmas to all. Although we didn't go anywhere out of town since December 3rd, it has been a very busy month.

Operation Red Nose

Operation Red Nose is program in place in a number of communities across Canada. During the festive season, three person teams of volunteers respond to calls from individuals who believe they may have had too much to drink to drive home safely and legally. One member drives the escort vehicle while the designated driver will drive the client's vehicle home accompanied by a navigator. The escort vehicles have two way radios to base to receive the calls. Shifts start about 8:00 PM and they stop taking calls at 3:00 AM so, after the pizza at the end of the shift, volunteers can get home as late as 5:00.

I worked three Saturdays before Christmas with teams made up of Action Sudbury volunteers. We were a small part of the overall volunteer contingent but were able to show support from our organization for this worthy cause. Next year, we'll start earlier and try to get more out.

December 8 - Ron, Nataly and me

December 15 - John, Ashleigh and me

December 22 - Me, Jamie and Ashleigh

December 22 2nd team - Steve, Gary and Lino

I have one more shift scheduled for next Saturday with daughter Kim and son-in-law Mike, who will be visiting from Cambridge. If you have this free service in your area, please use it. Or better yet, volunteer for it.

MS Society Sudbury Chapter Christmas Social

The members of the local chapter gathered  at the Rona Ramsey Centre Of Hope for the annual Christmas get-together. I was a bit tired after getting in at 4:30 AM from Operation Red Nose. The meal was pot luck and the chefs were awesome. 

In addition to the food, there was plenty of time for getting to know fellow members and we even had our own Elvis impersonator, who apparently is a regular fixture every year.

Cindy and Joan

Elvis lives!

The table

Sheila, Donna Rose and Laurel slave in the kitchen

The Centre Of Hope building is unique among MS Society chapters and was the brainchild of Rona Ramsey, for whom it has just been named. Rona was also honoured with a Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award recognizing people that have provided outstanding volunteer service.

During the month, I was appointed Treasurer of the local chapter and am still trying to figure out how the books work.

Salvation Army Kettles

On Thursday the 13th and again on the 20th, I put in a couple of hours as part of an effort by our local chapter of the Ontario Provincial Police Veterans Association to support the Salvation Army. We manned the kettle at the local Costco, sharing time slots to cover both days completely. Even a devout non-Christian such as myself can't help but acknowledge the fine work this group does and, despite my personal beliefs, I had a good time wishing everyone Merry Christmas and thanking them for their generosity.

Ringing the bell for the Sally Ann at  Costco

France Gelinas Constituency Office Christmas

France Gelinas is the Member of Provincial Parliament for part of Sudbury. She is a strong supporter of Action Sudbury and always invites us to promote our message at the Christmas fete she hosts at her constituency office in Hanmer. This year, Normand and I both attended and, along with Ms. Gelinas, gave out red ribbons and other promotional items on December 18th in front of her offices. There were also cookies and coffee. It was a feel-good day.

Me, France Gelinas and Normand

Tom and Heather Visit

Tom and Heather drove up in a snowstorm on Friday night and visited for a couple of days. They headed back yesterday morning but it was great to see them even if just for a short while.

So again, Merry Christmas to all. May you all have enough.

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