Toys for the North – Thunder Bay – North to Poplar Hill and Deer Lake

THUNDER BAY – Sioux Lookout – Deer Lake – Poplar Hill – Departing in cool but sunny conditions, along with Santa Claus, the RCMP, Gardewine and North Star Air, a great crew of excited people headed north for the 2018 annual Toys for the North.

The destination communities this year were Deer Lake and Poplar Hill.

The day started early, and it was wheels up in Thunder Bay just after 8:00 am. The journey first headed to Red Lake to top up on fuel due to some strong headwinds.

RCMP S/Sgt Roy with NAPS Constable Roy and Tavis Clemens of the RCMP
RCMP S/Sgt Roy with NAPS Constable Roy and Tavis Clemens of the RCMP

From Red Lake, it was a short half hour into Deer Lake where the toys were offloaded from a North Star Air Caravan by RCMP, Nishnawbe Aski Police, community volunteers and NSA and Gardewine helpers.

Toys for the North in Deer Lake First Nation

At Deer Lake the toys made it to the local television station where there was a broadcast live into the homes across the community so Elders could watch.

Deer Lake Youth reporting for NetNewsLedger on Toys for the North - Message was grins with a forecast for more smiles

Well over 100 plus children and youth came out in waves to meet Santa and share some Christmas time happiness with the team.

In Poplar Hill First Nation, the community came out for a feast, and some holiday fellowship at the community school.

The journey from CFB Trenton, on to Thunder Bay and then to the destination communities resulted in a huge harvest of smiles.

The toys, which came in on a Canadian Forces C133 Hercules last week left Thunder Bay after being sorted at the Thunder Bay Gardewine depot earlier in the week to arrive in Deer Lake First Nation and Poplar Hill First Nation.

Taking time out of what is a very busy schedule, Santa Claus decided to get a bit of an early start coming along on the journey.

Families in the northern communities of Deer Lake First Nation and Poplar Hill First Nation expressed appreciation for toys.