By Kathryn Stocks

On December 9, the 1st Annual Community Tree Lighting Party was held at Port Union Community Centre and more than 300 people came out. The event was planned by local realtors Jodi and Alan Gear and they were extremely pleased with the way it went. “It was amazing,” Jodi said. “Beyond our expectations.”

Residents brought non-perishable food items for the firefighters’ food drive and new toys for the police toy drive, which Alan collected in his truck just outside the community centre. Jodi was inside selling raffle tickets for two large Christmas baskets. The raffle sold 149 tickets and raised $250 for Claire Wing’s  fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald Room at Centenary Hospital.

There were lots of things for the kids to do, including decorating cookies (messy but fun!), a colouring contest and a photo booth with Santa. The adults listened to carollers and browsed the vendors’ booths for cookies, jewellery and bath things. Everyone enjoyed the free hot chocolate from the Port Union Seniors.

Just before 8 p.m., we all headed outside to watch as the lights were lit and the big fir tree  outside the community centre was transformed into a beautiful Christmas tree. It was a delightful new event for Centennial and Jodi says she and Alan will “for sure” be doing it again next year.