On December 7th the ballroom at the Nisku Inn was packed to capacity with politicians, business people, volunteers, and everyone in between, awaiting the start of the Leduc Regional Chamber of Commerce's annual Spirit Of Giving Luncheon.
Everyone was getting in the spirit even before they walked in the door as "Santa", aka County Councillor John Schonewille, greeted everyone entering the luncheon dressed as the jolly old elf. Then, as you entered the room, the first thing your eyes were drawn to was a large Christmas tree set up in the corner surrounded by piles of toys and gifts that the staff from the Leduc Remax Realty office collected and were donating to the Christmas Elves Program.
Your vision then travelled to the tables which were set up in seasonal finery with a live poinsettia as a centrepiece. Every one had been donated by the Bromley family, owners of the Leduc Sobey's and was available to be taken home by the highest bidder at each table. Due to the generosity of everyone attending the luncheon the flowers ended up raising $910.00 for RiseUp House.
Jim Montney got the crowd warmed up with renditions of several Christmas carols as everyone got seated, then mother and daughter team Kim and Martina took to the stage to entertain the crowd with a very unique version of a Christmas classic. Mom Kim called all the board members from the chamber onto the stage and had them assist in singing a "chamberized" version of The 12 Days Of Christmas.
After everyone had eaten their fill of the turkey buffet and amazing dessert table set out by the Nisku Inn staff, the next item on the agenda was the Spirit Of Giving Award. This award is given to a person or business that has made a difference in this area with their philanthropy. As an introduction to this year's recipient, the list included the company being supporters of the Maclab Centre for the Performing Arts, The Black Gold Health Foundation, creating the Murray Armstrong Scholarship in the memory of a former employee, leading by example and encouraging their employees to support the community by raising $11,000.00 for the Relay For Life and then matching the donations raised, and having the aquatic centre at the LRC named after them for their major financial support of the facility. Two generations of the Mix family were welcomed onto the stage to accept the award on behalf of their family business Mixcor Aggregates.
After the applause had died down for the Mix family a line up of people formed down the side of the stage and cheques were presented to many different deserving charities in Leduc. This included Second Glance announcing that they had reached a new milestone this year by having donated $103,735.00 to various charities in the area, and BMO presenting a cheque for $18,750.00 to the LRC as a part of a four year partnership agreement to help maintain the health and wellness of Leduc and area residents.
Chamber President Cindy Guy then took to the stage to thank everyone for attending this very special luncheon that she avowed was her "absolute favourite luncheon of the year!" because she was "so inspired to be surrounded by all the generous people in our community."
As a very appropriate closure to the 2012 Spirit of Giving Luncheon it was announced that the 50/50 draw had raised over $400.00 for the Black Gold Health Foundation.