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Terrific turnout at Thursday's Christmas Fund drive-thru

It was another terrific turnout at Thursday's Richmond Christmas Fund drive-thru event at Lansdowne Centre which saw locals dropping off gifts and cash that will help make the holidays merrier for less fortunate local families.

Christmas fund chair Wayne Duzita said he was delighted that locals once again displayed their tremendous generosity, with donors receiving muffins and steaming hot coffee courtesy McDonald's and Van Houtte as a token of appreciation from event sponsors.

Three Nurses Next Door cars showed up in tandem to show their community spirit, while Richmond-based Ideon Packaging backed in one of their big trucks to reveal a bounty of unwrapped gifts that had volunteers buzzing.

Dozens of volunteers started accepting gifts at 6 a.m. Thursday, braving the bitter overnight cold, only to be greeted at dawn by clear blue skies that served as the picture-perfect backdrop for the fundraiser.

Richmond firefighters chipped in as well, with one of its ladder trucks stretching high into the sky, helping signal the event to the nearby community.

The third annual fundraiser collects much-needed cash and toys that will benefit some 2,000 low-income Richmond residents.

Lansdowne Centre, which served as the event's host, will be matching donations up to a maximum of $5,000. Other event partners included Volunteer Richmond, 103.5 QM/FM, the City of Richmond, Richmond Chamber of Commerce, Great Events Vancouver and Ashton Service Group.

Every person registered for the Richmond Christmas Fund will receive a grocery voucher, and some 1,000 children under the age of 15 will receive a toy or gift card donated by the program.

For more information about the Richmond Christmas Fund, or how you can help, visit volunteerrichmond.ca

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