Photos with Santa raise money for Yorkton food bank
REGINA -- Just days away from Christmas. Santa Claus took time from his busy schedule at the North Pole to come help collect donations for the Yorkton Salvation Army Food Bank.
With COVID-19 protocols at the top of the priority list, the Gallagher’s Centre Agri Pavilion was turned in to a winter wonderland for photo sessions on Dec. 12, 13 and 20.
"Doing this actually felt like regular Christmas, nothing's different. It feels normal, it feels happy, it's cheerful, it's what Christmas is about. Seeing all those little kids smiling," Jackie Herman, the photographer who came up with the idea of Simple Shots with Santa to Fill the Food Bank, said,
Santa visited with hundreds of kids during his time in Yorkton getting last minute additions for his list.
Dylan Leeson’s son, Oliver, asked Santa for a drill.
"It's incredible, I mean, this might be my kid's favourite time of year," said Leeson.
One family was allowed in the Agri Pavilion at a time and due to the distance kids didn't have to wear their mask while talking to Santa. Parents were able to remove theirs once seated for the picture.
"We had to make sure that the area where the families sit was able to be sanitized, so we did that with a park bench that we are able to spray and wipe down between every family," Brittany Johnson, a wedding and events planner who helped bring the idea to life, said.
The Salvation Army was able to hold their annual Red Kettle Drive this holiday season, but the typical food drive wasn’t as prominent.
Herman says the food bank is always in need this time of year so she decided to do what she could to help.
"Without having the regular ways to contribute to the food bank we thought bringing Santa to Yorkton would be the best way to do that," Herman said.
Santa and his elves didn't take tangible donations or cash from families at the shoot as they decided it was best if all donations were made to the food bank online.
"No money is going through our hands so everybody knows that all their donations are going directly to the salvation army here in Yorkton and the other thing too was, again with COVID protocols, we didn’t want to have to handle anything," Jan Morrison, events manager at the Gallagher Centre, said.
Morrison added the Gallagher Centre and the City of Yorkton were honoured to be able to help the Salvation Army Food Bank and create some Christmas magic.