September 20th, 2019

Christmas comes early at the ballpark, courtesy of the SCF

By Medicine Hat News on July 15, 2019.

NEWS PHOTO RYAN MCCRACKEN
Santa Claus, Olaf and a couple of elves stand with a display of snowmen at the Medicine Hat Mavericks Christmas in July game, benefitting the Santa Claus Fund, on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at Athletic Park.

The Santa Claus Fund brought a little early Christmas cheer to Saturday’s Medicine Hat Mavericks game.

Santa Claus, a snowman, the Grinch, Cindy Lou Who and elves, among other familiar faces, were in attendance at the ballpark to collect donations and raise awareness for the SCF, which assists families in need at Christmas time.

SCF executive director Deanna Doerksen says it’s important for the organization to spread its message outside the confines of the holiday season.

“Even though it’s just three weeks a year we’re servicing our families, we’re working all year round to collect donations and funds to support families in need,” she said.

The SCF helped 900 local children celebrate Christmas in 2018, who were drawn from 476 families.

Some of them were given free tickets to see that night’s Mavs game.

“Most of our families get by month-to-month, and you throw in the extras of Christmas or going to the ballgame and it’s just not feasible,” Doerksen said. “We have a lot of our families in attendance tonight.”

The SCF started a partnership with the Mavs a few months ago and they decided to have a “Christmas in July” theme night.

The costumed Christmas characters were provided by Under the Stars.

“The community has to stick together,” owner Ann Feenstra said. “We have to all take care of those who don’t have what they need.”

They’ll be back at the ballpark next week dressed as superheroes for an Alberta Children’s Hospital fundraiser.

“When you talk about fundraisers and charities, there are some that people just have a heart for. One of them for us is the Santa Claus Fund and the other is the children’s hospital,” said Feenstra.

Doerksen says she hopes Christmas in July will become an annual event.

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