Airdrie residents can shop for a good cause at the second annual Heloise Lorimer Christmas Market Nov. 18. The Friends of Heloise Lorimer School Society is organizing the event to raise money for playground equipment at the school.
“We are a (kindergarten to Grade 8) school so we actually have to have an intermediate and a primary playground,” said Tia Kerr, secretary of the society. “So we have the unfortunate task of trying to raise enough money for two playgrounds.”
The society received a $250,000 grant from the provincial government at the beginning of the school year, but Kerr said the society needs to raise approximately $450,000 in total.
“We’ve applied for the community grants that we’re eligible for to hopefully top up some of our funding for the second playground, and if we get that, then we should be able to build both playgrounds (next) summer,” she said.
The school opened in September 2016 and, since then, the society has raised slightly more than $50,000 from various fundraisers, including last year’s Christmas Market and things like bake sales, bottle drives and school dances.
Kerr said the playgrounds will be wheelchair accessible.
“What we’re looking at is doing a large play structure – similar to some of the newer ones that are put into communities now – where there isn’t so much of the offset equipment but it’s all inclusive of one large structure,” she said. “We’re trying to include several features that will accommodate children of all ages and all sensory and mobility needs.”
The Christmas market will take place at the school from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds from table rentals, face painting, a concession and bake sale will go to the playground fund. There will also be a $2 admission fee, which will include a raffle ticket for a chance to win a prize donated by each vendor.
Kerr said the event will include approximately 40 local vendors, with the majority being artisans selling handcrafted items. This year, attendees can also pay for a mini Christmas photo shoot with a photographer on site, with proceeds going towards the playgrounds as well.
Kerr said she encourages people to stop by the Christmas Market and be a part of raising money for the new playgrounds at Heloise Lorimer School.
“Not only are they supporting our school, but they’re also supporting small businesses and local businesses,” she said.