As part of the Northern Alberta Xtreme core values to build a strong community, the Bantam Prep, Female Prep, and Midget Prep teams all volunteered for the local Devon Christmas Elves at the start of December, organizing and packing donated food to families in need.
“The first core value that we present to families and student-athletes at our introduction presentation is that of community. To maintain our standing and be a positive member of Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta, and the Canadian Sport School Hockey League along with the Black Gold School District and Town of Devon,” said Head of Hockey Operation Tyrel Spitzer.
“Devon Christmas Elves is an opportunity for us to maintain this standing, but more importantly, give back to the local community that supports our student-athletes and program year-round.”
The Association of the Devon Christmas Elves is a 100 per cent volunteer run organization that has been in existence for over 20 years. Starting November 12, Devon Christmas Elves distributes large bins in several town businesses, and over the course of a few weeks, people in the community donate food and toys. The Devon schools also contribute by doing a collection of food, toys and money.
“Every hamper recipient receives a food hamper and a toy hamper. Everything collected goes towards filling the hampers. Some years we do not get as many groceries as we need to fill the hamper, we purchase the shortfall each year. We do not purchase toys, however, and use only what is collected from the community. Food security is our priority,” said Devon Christmas Elves Chair member Kammi Rosentreter.
“This year we filled 70 hampers that went to seniors and families. The population of Devon is just over 6,000 people so 70 hampers is quite a bit for a small town. The NAX teams were very helpful in that they sorted the groceries that came in, made sure everything was in the right place, unloaded our purchased groceries, and put together 210 boxes that we use to put the groceries in.”
Over 1,000 volunteer hours were given by the committee and community members.
This was the second year in a row that the Xtreme teams volunteered with Devon Christmas Elves.
“It’s great to be given an opportunity to serve a collective purpose in our community, where we are able as a team to contribute to such a great initiative set on by the Devon Christmas Elves,” said Midget Prep student-athlete Warren Marcotte. “It is great how we all come from different towns and cities but are able to give back to the people who allow us to call Devon home during our time here.”
While donations for Devon Christmas Elves closed on December 10, those interested in donating food or toys can still do so with the Leduc Food Bank.