EAST LEICESTER – More than $5,000 was raised for charity during the Happy Neighbours Club’s Fall Fest Christmas Party at the East Leicester Community Centre.
“It’s a miracle,” said Ruby Kirkpatrick, club president and master of ceremonies and auctioneer at the annual fundraiser.
Some of the miracles were made during the auction, which raised $2,471.
“We had some pears in a quart bottle that went for $10,” said Kirkpatrick. “Imagine that, I could do up a bottle of pears a lot cheaper than that, but people are very generous.”
The Oxford Scotiabank matched the $2,471 dollar for dollar and the Amherst Scotiabank added an addition $450 said Kirkpatrick.
The fall fest party also included turkey dinner and skits.
“The (Christmas) skits were a riot,” said Kirkpatrick. “They just roared. It was something else.”
Kirkpatrick, along with Oxford Scotiabank manager Gary Bristol, auctioned off about 50 items.
Kirkpatrick said Amherst was very supportive of the event.
“There’s not many stores who refuse us a gift or donation.”
Although she is 73-year’s-old any of the 50 people attending the party couldn’t help but notice Kirkpatrick’s energy and enthusiasm.
“It’s just me, it’s just my makeup,” she said. “Our club is my passion.”
Come Christmastime Kirkpatrick will dress up as Santa and deliver food baskets.
“There’s one fellow with downs syndrome and when I leave he goes to the window and watches Santa go,” said Kirkpatrick. “That’s my pay back, that’s my reward.”
She says she’s not ready for the rocking chair just yet.
“You’re just as old as you make yourself. You can sit and rock and watch television but that’s not me. I’m not a rocker yet,” said Kirkpatrick. “The time will come that I will have to step back and rock but right now.”
The club has eight members but is always looking for more.
We have one lady who’s going to be 87 at Christmas and I don’t like to ask her to do a whole lot of stuff, and we have another lady with a sore foot who we don’t like to ask to do a lot,” she said. “We have one little girl in her late 40’s and that’s the youngest we’ve got.”
Money raised goes to help 17 different charities.
“We dish it (the money) out as we see fit,” said Kirkpatrick.
Money goes to several organizations, including; the three hospitals in, Amherst, Springhill and Pugwash, IWK Children’s Hospital, the Oxford Food Bank and Light the Way in Amherst.
“We give goody baskets to folks who have been in the hospital,” said Kirkpatrick. “We also give to Spookerama and we give $75 to each graduating student in this area, last year we had 11.
They also give to the 4-H Club, Amherst Family Services for Christmas and the Halifax Run for Epilepsy.
“We also give a food basket for people over 80 in this area, with ham and other food, and we give to other’s who fall on hard times.”
Kirkpatrick spent the first four years of her life in Trenton, “and then we moved up hear and I’ve been here ever since.”
Her and her husband, Douglas, celebrate their 56th wedding anniversary on Thursday.