McDougall Energy Gives $30,000 to Local Christmas Cheer Organizations

McDougall Energy Gives $30,000 to Local Christmas Cheer Organizations (Sault Ste. Marie/Thessalon)

Sault Ste. Marie and Thessalon, ON – McDougall Energy Inc. (McDougall Energy) and Imperial Oil’s Esso Community Program have donated $30,000 towards the Sault Star Santa Fund for Christmas Cheer and Thessalon Lions Club for Christmas Hampers.

“We are fortunate to have organizations like Christmas Cheer and Christmas Hampers in our communities to help individuals and families celebrate the holidays at home. This has been a very challenging year due to COVID-19, and we want to help brighten up the holidays for those who receive Christmas Cheer,” said Darren McDougall, president, McDougall Energy. “Sault Ste. Marie and Thessalon have always been home for McDougall Energy and the McDougall family, and we are grateful for the opportunity to give where we live, where our customers and our employees live.”

Christmas Cheer is funded by the Sault Star Santa Fund since 1919, providing gifts to hundreds of local families who may find it difficult to enjoy the holiday season due to any disadvantages and challenges they face. This year, more than 1,600 deserving local families and individuals in Sault Ste. Marie and area will receive Christmas Cheer packages. Families will receive gifts for the children and a grocery gift card for Christmas dinner; individuals will receive canned goods packed by Harvest Algoma and a grocery gift card. Volunteers make the event run smoothly, loading trucks and transporting gifts around the city.

“We cannot thank McDougall Energy enough for this generous donation that has made a big impact on our ability to provide Christmas Cheer gifts. We are so fortunate for the kindness of others and donations from our community and the many volunteers that make it all possible,” said Diane Marshall, Christmas Cheer convener. “Things are coming along very well thanks to our staff of seasoned elves who have an excellent handle on what needs to happen. We continue to partner with the Salvation Army to make sure those in need receive gifts and food from Christmas Cheer, and this year we have also partnered with Harvest Algoma for the packing of the canned goods donations.”

Traditionally, the Thessalon Lions Club helped fill Christmas Cheer hampers containing food collected by the Thessalon Volunteer Fire Department and Thessalon Minor Hockey members. The Lions also purchase or donate everything needed for a Christmas dinner, including turkey, potatoes, milk, bread and fruit. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and enhanced safety measures this year, the Lions Club will be providing vouchers from Jones’ Valu-Mart in Thessalon, value varying by family size.

“I want to thank McDougall Energy for their support. Because of their generosity, we can double the number of vouchers we provide in our Christmas Hampers this year,” said Leigh Dauphin, president, Thessalon Lions Club. “We remain active and continue to serve the community, and although fundraising activities have been limited this year, we agreed the hamper program wouldn’t be cancelled, and we reached out to the community for help. The community can take pride in the support that was given. Individuals, businesses, and local churches all supported the Thessalon Lions.”

This support will allow the Thessalon Lions to offer a hamper to everyone requesting help in Thessalon and the surrounding area.  Last year 43 hampers were given out, and that number will be higher this year.

Christmas Cheer in Sault Ste. Marie had set an ambitious goal to raise $100,000 in 2020, and the cost to run the program in Sault Ste. Marie is approximately $90,000 – $100,000 per year. With generous donations from community members and organizations, including McDougall Energy, Christmas Cheer is one big step closer to meeting this goal.

1) Cheque presentation (Santa Fund): (Left to right) Brunella Gagliardi – Sault Star Santa Fund co-ordinator, Diane Marshall – Christmas Cheer convenor, Jill Raycroft – master packer, Chris Barnes – Christmas Cheer co-convenor, Jennifer McDougall – corporate director of human resources, McDougall Energy

2) Elbow bumps: (Left to right) Sault Star Santa Fund co-ordinator Brunella Gagliardi, Christmas Cheer co-convener Diane Marshall, Jennifer McDougall, McDougall Energy corporate director of human resources, and Christmas Cheer co-convener Chris Barnes. 

Photo credit: Jeffrey Ougler/The Sault Star

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