Students, volunteers prepare for Christmas morning at the Legion

ACE organizes seventh annual breakfast for seniors

Nobody should spend Christmas morning alone.

That’s why Agassiz Centre for Education (ACE) students and community volunteers are gearing up for another Christmas morning at the Legion.

Seven years ago ACE administrator Sandy Balascak approached her students with the idea to put on a Christmas morning breakfast and gift-giving for seniors from Agassiz and Harrison.

“It occurred to me that there’s all these seniors and they’ve spent their lives building great Christmases for their families, and sometimes their families are too far away or don’t come to see them [now],” she says. “And I thought, the community always does great things in advance, but no body does anything on Christmas Day.

“Christmas morning is generally the hardest time to be alone,” she adds. “Especially [for] those who have had families and big Christmas mornings.”

ACE students loved the idea. Even students who have family obligations and can’t come for Christmas morning donate their time preparing for the event.

While the first year was mostly put on by the students, the event has become increasingly popular for community members who want to volunteer on Christmas Day.

Lesley Ward has helped to cook breakfast almost every Christmas since ACE started the program.

“It fills my heart with Christmas spirit,” she says. “Seeing the faces of the people who are sitting around [that] don’t have any other place to go…. This is what I do to help spread the Christmas spirit…helping other people and watching them enjoy themselves just like little kids.”

Balascak estimates about 60 seniors come in for breakfast on Christmas morning. Each receive a gift donated by a local business and enjoy ‘egg in the holes,’ scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage and pancakes made from ingredients donated by the local A&W.

“Until you actually experience [the breakfast], it’s hard to describe,” Balascak says. “If you ever really want to feel the true meaning of Christmas, come into that room because it’s there.”

Ward agrees. “It takes away that loneliness for a handful of people,” she says. “But when you have a handful of people and make their lives better, it’s like a snowball; it just keeps getting bigger. People just are happier, and we need that in a society where people are so sad and lonely and angry.”

“We need joy and peace and love and kindness. That’s why I do it,” she adds.

Tickets are free but are required for seniors planning to attend the breakfast. They can be picked up at the Legion, the Agassiz Library or ACE.

Just Posted

More people in Chiliwack coming in to shelters to get out of the cold

Ruth and Naomi’s went over-capacity this week to accommodate shelter guests coming in from the cold

Chilliwack Chiefs visit Kent Elementary

Grade 6 students got a chance to visit with, and play hockey against, some local hockey celebrities

Agassiz break and enter suspect arrested

The Chilliwack man faces charges relating to break and enters throughout Agassiz

Outdoor rink, lagoon improvements on the agenda for Harrison

The projects are intended to increase tourism numbers and infrastructure in the resort village

Look at the latest: Family Day in Agassiz and Harrison

Don’t let the new day fool you, there’s still lots to do for Family Day in Agassiz and Harrison

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Prominent B.C. realtor says he doesn’t know how child porn got on his computer

Closing arguments heard in Ian Meissner’s Chilliwack trial for accessing, possessing child porn

BREAKING: Plecas won’t run in next election if legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Avalanche control planned tomorrow on Highway 1

The highway will be closed in the morning east of Revelstoke

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Mayors approve SkyTrain extension to UBC

Next step is a business plan and public consultation

Most Read