Patrons and staff of the Griffin Pub got together last weekend for a night of fun and frivolity, which is not at all unusual for a Saturday night.
The difference is that on this night, the pub raised a record $8,775 for three local charities. There was a live auction, games, 50/50 draws, a reverse draw (in which one lucky patron won two tickets anywhere WestJet flies) and our trademark Chicken Poop raffle.
Since 1989 the Griffin has held its annual Christmas for Kids Chili Cook-off.
Since its inception, the pub has raised a total of $112,212, donated in its entirety to local children’s charities, most recently Secret Santa (run by First Insurance), Santa’s Workshop and the Comox Valley Transition Society (Lilli House).
It is a sad statement that there are so many impoverished children or children in crisis right here in our own backyard. Patrons and staff of the Griffin want to send a message to them loud and clear – your community cares.
A great many local businesses have stepped up to the plate with donated items which are auctioned off. All proceeds go to the charities.
Each charity was hand chosen by the organizers of the event for many reasons.
Santa’s Workshop is a group of people accepting new and gently used toys which can be refurbished (if need be) and passed on to children whose families cannot afford to provide these for them. The demand is always higher than the donated gifts can cover. Extra funds give them the opportunity to ensure no child is left out.
The Secret Santa Program (First Insurance) is not dissimilar to the Santa’s Workshop idea in that they provide gifts to underprivileged children. Parents, falling on hard times, can register their child’s name, which is hung on a tree along with basic information such as a child’s gender and age.
People are encouraged to choose a name from the tree and purchase an age appropriate gift for this child. Names unfortunately, are left on the tree when all is said and done, often the siblings of children who were already picked. First Insurance uses all cash donations to purchase gifts for these children.
Last but not least is the Comox Valley Transition Society, which operates Lilli House, a place for women and children to turn to when their worlds are turned upside down by domestic violence or drug abuse. Often they arrive with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
It is extremely important for these children to have some comfort in these dire times. It is vital that this charity is supported year round.
There is no feeling like it to be able to bring a little joy into the lives of children who have suffered so much. It renews their faith in humanity and gives them hope for their own futures.
To those who were unable to attend, it’s not too late. You can still give your support to these charities. It is a wonderful Christmas gift idea to present a gift to one of these charities in the name of a friend or family member who already has everything.
Santa’s Workshop: At 96-1742 Cliffe Ave. (behind Pizza Hut) 10 am-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Drop-off boxes are also located at Walmart, Curves in Courtenay, Comox Centre Mall, Winners and London Drugs. Call 250-897-1994.
Secret Santa: Drop by and chose a name from the tree and return with an unwrapped gift for that child at a First Insurance location (426 Eighth St. in Courtenay). Phone 250-334-3443.
Comox Valley Transition Society: Drop by with your cash, food or clothing donations to 202-576 England Ave. in Courtenay or call 250-897-0511.
— Griffin Pub