A tradition that spans over three decades in the valley will be taking a break this year.
Santa’s Annual Christmas Dinner started in 1983, simply as a way for folks to get together over the holiday, especially if they had no other place to go, with no restaurants open. The dinner provided a venue to enjoy a hot meal in the company of others.
It has since grown over the years and has become a tradition. At the heart of the dinner is getting together and camaraderie with friends and family. For the last few years it was held at Yavis Family Restaurant. However, with COVID -19 restrictions, organizers have decided to take a break for 2020.
“The essence of the dinner was to provide an opportunity to be with others on a holiday. However, with the challenges of this year, we just don’t want to be responsible for anyone getting sick,” lamented Kim Suntjens, one of the organizers. “Last year, we served 504 meals. It’s incredibly disappointing to not be hosting it this year, but the logistics and out of an abundance of care and caution, it is the responsible choice.”
Organizers are committed to this not being the end of the event and are planning to take it up again for Christmas 2021.
Drumheller Mail reporter, Lacie Nairn, joined grade 4 students at St. Anthony’s School on Thursday, November 19 via Zoom call to answer questions about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and what it is like to work as a reporter.
Nairn previously spoke with grade 4 teachers, Ms. Sarah Boyne and Ms. Vicki Black, about their students’ participation in the annual writing contest, NaNoWriMo. Following the interviews, Ms. Boyne invited Nairn to join students via Zoom to talk about her fifth year participating in the contest, and what it is like working as a reporter with The Drumheller Mail.
“It is an absolute honour to have been offered the opportunity to speak to Ms. Boyne and Ms. Black’s students,” Nairn says. “The students had plenty of thought-provoking questions and it was amazing to see so much enthusiasm.”
The students asked several questions, ranging from when Nairn first started writing and why she started participating in NaNoWriMo, her favourite books, and whether it gets easier to do NaNoWriMo after the first year.
Nairn gave students some writing tips and read an excerpt from her current NaNoWriMo project. She told students to be proud of how many words they write for NaNoWriMo, regardless of whether they reach their word count goals or not.
The students also asked questions about working as a reporter for The Drumheller Mail.
“It’s especially important right now with COVID to stay informed, but it can be something as simple as, for example, the town putting in a new park,” Nairn said. “My job is to help people stay informed and understand what is going on in their community.”
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