News | DrumhellerMail
Last updateTue, 18 Dec 2018 3pm

DVSS Christmas variety show debuts Thursday

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Students at DVSS will be hosting the first ever totally-student run production to cap off the semester later this week when they put on their Christmas Variety Show, featuring mash-ups and reinterpretations of a number of holiday classics.

This Thursday and Friday audiences at the Kaleidoscope Theatre will expect to see several musical performances of classic Christmas songs and scenes and snippets from holiday movies such as Elf, Charlie Brown, Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Co-director Brandon Holden says the production, with cast members from junior to senior high, will delight audiences with their unique adaptions.

“We were originally wanting to do a single idea, but thought it would be a lot more fun and interesting if we had a celebration of these huge classic holiday movies that already mean so much to everybody,” Holden said. “It’s fun for the audience to see our own interpretation of these movies. We’ve put our own little touches here and there.”

“It’s all these characters that we’ve grown up with on stage being interpreted and given characteristics that were not as exaggerated in the movie, but that we’ve pushed to the forefront to make more interesting and fresh. We definitely wanted to keep the vibe of the shows, but nothing seems like its ‘copy and pasted.”

The production is independent of the school curriculum but is being run in conjunction with the school’s drama department and will provide students with volunteer hours. Tickets will be a monetary donation at the door which will be donated to the Salvation Army for their Christmas drive. Showtimes are at 7 p.m. on both December 20 and December 21 at the Kaleidoscope Theatre, attached to DVSS.

“It’s a fun way to give back to the community,” Holden said.

Demand for Christmas hampers increases

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While Christmas is just two weeks away, the Salvation Army is busy hoping to fill the community’s need to bring Christmas to the in need.

Once again the demand for hampers is up. In fact, over the last five years, demand has gone up 45 per cent. This means they are hoping for a strong push leading up to Christmas.

  Captain Ben Lippers says last year they filled 157 hampers, and there were 168 children who were served last Christmas. Already the demand has surpassed last year’s total and as of Monday, The Salvation Army was still taking appointments.

“People are feeling the pinch so we have to meet the need,” said Captain Lippers.

Drumheller residents have shown their generosity with a stellar result for the annual Red Bag Food Drive. Many tags have also been taken and fulfilled from the Tree Of Hope at Westergard  Ford. The Salvation Army has since had to add more tags to the tree in hopes of filling the hampers with toys for those in need. The deadline is December 12.

  The Kettle Drive is also coming along. As of Monday, December 10 they have collected $ 11,647.35.

“We are a little behind in the kettles,” said Lippers.

The kettles will be at area grocery store leading up to Christmas.

“We are looking for a strong push to finish,” he said.

One thing he says is heartening is the generosity of the community.

“This community is very generous, we know that. We are just a little behind, give us a  push, get us ahead. We can’t say thank you enough, even the Red Food Bag Drive was remarkable to see. That just shows the community spirit that is behind us,” he said.

Habitat for Humanity makes progress on family search

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Habitat For Humanity is one step closer to taking on its Drumheller project, to provide families with a home to call their own.

The Mail reported in its November 7 edition the Drumheller project was missing a key component: families for the duplex. At that point, there was only one eligible family who has gone through the process to become selected by the program to own their own home.

Since that time the organization took on an awareness campaign and now have six families. Louise Gagne, director of regional development for Habitat for Humanity says these applications will be evaluated and they hope to have two families to fill the planned duplex in North Drumheller.

  Gagne explains a driver for the Drumheller project was a donation of a parcel of land for a home.

“At the time I’m sure they would have done a housing needs assessment and my impression is the town did have a need,” she said. “What has transpired is a significant shift in the economic climate of the province that affected Drumheller.”

She said with the decline of the economy, it may have led to more vacancies, falling rent and more people were able to find affordable housing.

“So more people who needed our program or could have used it are in a better housing place, although it is still a rental,” she said. ‘ One of our criteria is for our family to demonstrate housing need, they would be spending more than 30 per cent of their income on housing or an unsafe situation.”

   She explains one case where they were working with a family who were eligible until one of the parents secured a full-time position.

  “Downside is they didn’t get to own a home with us, but the bright side is dad got a permanent job. All of these things transpire at a micro level and a macro level. It impacts the entire community and some changes impact families to make them more eligible or less eligible for us.”

While they have  built a larger pool of applications, Gagne says they are always taking applications.

“If people continue to apply, I’ll be in touch with them and go through our process and our criteria and getting to the point of making an application or not,” she said.

This puts the project one step closer.

“We have a little more fundraising to do and then we will have a spring groundbreaking. Our aspiration is to identify two families who would be great homeowners.”

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