Posted by Gerry Beltgens on Dec 04, 2019

 Ladysmith Rotary Club Shows Up For Christmas

Once again it was all hands on deck as the members of the Rotary Club of Ladysmith, LSS Interact Club and Friends of the clubs showed up the feed the hungry throngs at the 2019 festival of Lights and Breakfast with Santa.
Ladysmith Old Time Christmas - by Susanne Otterson
Ladysmith folks know what fun the “Old Time Christmas” event is.  So the very chilly weather on December 6th did not deter the crowds from taking in all the fun & food served up for the Ladysmith Downtown Business Association. Volunteers from the Ladysmith Rotary Club greeted the fun seekers in their efforts to raise money for the Rotary Gardens at Cowichan Hospice project.  Some 57 “Dream Vacation” tickets were sold during the event, a testament to the generosity of those enjoying the Old Time Christmas.  
Good luck to all those who bought the $10 tickets! Tickets for this great fundraiser are available through all of the five Rotary Clubs in the Cowichan Valley.

Breakfast With Santa 
Santa is so generous to the folks in Ladysmith, maybe it’s because there are so many wonderful people who make this community what it is.  The busy folks at LaFF (Ladysmith Family and Friends) held the annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa on December 7 sponsored by The Rotary Club of Ladysmith. We showed him a very good time, what with the pancake, sausages and fruit breakfast,  decorations, silent auction and fun, fun, fun.  

The crowds started arriving before 8:00 am and never stopped until the last child had sat on Santa’s lap around 1:00 pm.  It was such a worthwhile effort as evidenced by the joyous crowd and pleased Mr. Klaus & his Elves. The Interact Club from Ladysmith Senior Secondary joined in the fun and participated in the work, helping out serving food and clearing tables.

“LaFF and Rotary have built a very strong relationship over the years.  Rotarians flipping and serving  pancakes for 600 at Breakfast With Santa has become a tradition and is just one way to demonstrate that important relationship. Our donation of the food ensures that those in need receive free access to all that LaFF provides for the rest of the year.“ said Sandra Milne, Ladysmith Rotary Club President

Ladysmith Festival of Lights - by Brian King
The Rotary Club of Ladysmith has been part of Light-up for many years setting up a large food tent on the parade route to sell hundreds of hotdogs, smokies, hamburgers and hot chocolate to hungry customers.  There is a lot of thought and planning that goes into this food service event each year.  The Community Service committee has a master list of items needed and jobs to be done so that  everything runs smoothly on Light-up Night.
Starting at noon, Rotarians transport the various cooking equipment and supplies that are required.  By 3 p.m. we have our large tent set up, the grills in place, and food supplies on site, ready to cook at 4 pm when the first customers start to stroll by.  Then we sell hot dogs, smokies, and hamburgers non-stop.  Numerous people come by to express their appreciation for Rotary and our community work.  It goes by fast, and before we know it the clean-up crew is wrapping up things by 10 pm.  It's a long day, but we feel glad to be part of the wonderful town of Ladysmith.

Once again we were impressed on Light-Up Night when a team of Interact Club members showed up to work with and help Rotarians serve hamburgers and hot dogs from our concession.  The Interact members were particularly impressive with their friendly and outgoing interaction with our customers, which is so important  for the Interact and Rotary community image.
Festival of Lights (Light-up) is a Ladysmith event that has been a tradition since 1987. It draws between 20,000 to 40,000 people from the community and as far as Victoria to come out for an evening of fun and friendship.  The event includes the light-up of over 200,000 Christmas lights in downtown Ladysmith at precisely 6:30 pm on the last Thursday of November.  There is a wonderful parade, capped off with a spectacular fireworks display.  The downtown area is cordoned off to traffic to allow folks to wander freely to enjoy the festivities.
“Ladysmith Festival of Lights is a great opportunity to promote our community, Rotary and the motto “People of Action” by showing Rotarians serving the community in our very busy concession.“ Said Sandra Milne. “This event brings out all available members of the club to work together, have fun, and to kick-off the holiday season!”