Jasmine Lakusta and Louise Bett man the door at the toy and food drive fundraiser at the North Arm Pub.

Fundraiser nets toy and food drive $11,250

The Fort St. James toy and food driver raised over $11,000 at a fundraiser at North Arm Pub

The Fort St. James toy and food drive will be able to provide even more support to the community this holiday season thanks to over $11,000 raised last weekend.

The toy and food drive held a fundraising christmas party at the North Arm Pub on Saturday, Dec. 6 and received significant support from the community as more than 100 people attended the party, well over the 96 tickets initially sold.

Featuring a live DJ, silent auction and 50/50 raffle, the event was organized by chair of the toy and food drive organization Jasmine Lakusta along with committee members Judy Greenaway, Kyla Grundstrom, Louise Bett and Jhenipher Bridgeman.

The christmas party was a spiritual successor to last years fundraising dinner that was sponsored by Integris Credit Union. Prior to 2013 the toy and food drive relied on independent donations to raise money, but Lakusta hopes to make these types of events a yearly occurrence

The event managed to raise $4,200 from ticket sales, the silent auction and 50/50 raffle. In conjunction with $2,500 donated by Iberdrola Renewables, the company responsible for the bio-energy plant being built outside of town, $2,000 from Nak’azdli Band and $2,000 from Newlands Enterprises (who  also bought 76 of the 96 available tickets) and $500 from Northland Automotive, Mt. Milligan and the Bargain Basement each. The total amount raised  thus far is $11,250.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our community for their generous donations and ongoing efforts volunteering to make this annual event for those in need so successful,” said Lakusta. “There are so many volunteers that step up and help each year to make this come together and to all of [them] I’d like to express my sincere and heartfelt thanks.”

Money raised by the fundraising event will go towards buying christmas toys and non-perishable food items to fill holiday hampers given out to members of the community each year