The annual North Central Family Centre (NCFC) holiday dinner was extra special this year.
Not only did it bring together families from across Regina for a holiday meal, but it also celebrated two decades of serving the community.
“I was 13 years old and saw that they were giving free doughnuts out one day. So, I went there and I kind of just never left,” said Shyanne Lavallee, NCFC employee.
On Wednesday, the community gathered to celebrate its 20th anniversary at its annual holiday dinner. Organizers even designed a special Snapchat filter for the occasion and also a visit from jolly old Saint Nick.
Lavallee has been involved with the NCFC since nearly the beginning. It was 18 years ago that she dropped in for the first time as a young teen. But today, it’s her place of work.
“Growing up in North Central, you’re around a lot of things and you have to deal with things a young child shouldn’t have to deal with at a young age,” she said. “So, it’s a place I really felt safe, I felt valued, I felt loved.”
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Lavallee says she’s watched the centre grow from a small house giving a few local youths a safe place to spend free time to a Regina establishment that offered an after-school program, group outings and employment services to community members of all ages.
But before these Christmas dinners, the current building on 5th Avenue and the NCFC work vans endure periods of financial difficulty and instances of vandalism.
But executive director Kim Wenger says the community never fails to rally in support.
“We’re resilient, and so is this community, and so when the challenge comes up, we just embrace it, and take it on and make an opportunity out of it,” said Wenger.
The NCFC offers a variety of programming and activities, and also provides daily donations of bread and canned goods on a first come, first served basis.
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