THUNDER BAY -Our Kids Count has received over $40,000 from two Thunder Bay Christmas party-fundraisers. On December 23rd, thousands of yuletide revelers celebrated the season at Stu Fest and the Ischkinakker Shaker, where every cent raised at both parties would go directly to the local charity.
“I couldn’t be happier with this year’s party,” said Dr. Stewart Kennedy, host and organizer of Stu Fest, which sadly will be ending its run of 40 consecutive years. “It was a wonderful way to cap off the run of parties.”
In order to increase the overall amount raised, Dr. Kennedy and Ischkinakker Shaker host Johnnny de Bakker decided to join forces this year, with Stu Fest taking place at Roxy’s Nightclub and the Shaker taking place at the CLE Coliseum simultaneously. “We thought we could make a bigger impact with our donation if we went at it together,” said de Bakker.
Our Kids Count is a community development project aimed at fostering the health and development of children age 6 and under in families in need of support. Programs are offered at two Family Resource Centres in Thunder Bay. At these centres, parents are able to register for skill building and educational programs, while their children are cared for by trained Early Childhood Education workers. “We wanted to donate to a charity that was grassroots and benefits the community in a big way,” says de Bakker.
For straight 40 years, Stu Fest was Thunder Bay’s best Christmas party. Since it’s humble beginnings, Stu Fest has raised over $500,000 for local charities. For the younger crowd, the Ischkinakker Shaker has become the place to be for Thunder Bay ex-pats returning home for the holidays.