When you think about black tie events, you may not think Santa Claus, but that’s exactly what you can expect on Dec. 1 at the NAIT Students’ Association’s first annual Winter Formal.
The Nest is hosting the inaugural event as a way to support two important school charities. It’s organized by NAITSA’s Campus Activities Board (CAB).
This year, all proceeds from the Winter Formal will go to support both the NAITSA Food Centre and Shinerama, a post-secondary fundraiser in support of Cystic Fibrosis, which sees participation from 50 schools across Canada.
One of the CAB event co-ordinators, Harley Russell, explained the idea came from outside.
“This year we were approached and asked if we could donate some money to Shinerama as there is a student at NAIT that suffers from Cystic Fibrosis.”
In addition to enjoying some Christmas cheer, students will also be helping out two vital causes on campus.
Krista Wildemann, service co-ordinator at the NAITSA Food Centre, says that so far they have helped over 50 students and their families go to bed with a full stomach, and events such as the Winter Formal are essential to keep it running.
“We have been very fortunate to have a lot of support from the NAIT community that has made it possible for us to continue growing our service,” she said.
Beginning in 2015, the Food Centre has been a major benefit for the NAIT community and the holiday season becomes a crucial time for those in need.
“We are seeing an increase as the holiday season approaches and student loans
begin to run out,” explains Wildemann. “Typically, January can also be an increase, after the holidays as bills come in.”
NAITSA Food Centre users will have access to a Christmas hamper, which will provide students with Christmas dinner and two weeks of food to get them through the holiday break. The Food Centre also provides referrals to the Edmonton Food Bank all year long. When you realize that many students also have children and pets to feed, you can easily see how important the service becomes and how events such as the Winter Formal are truly significant.
“We wanted to give it that exclusive vibe and if it’s successful, we can look into making it bigger next year,” says Russell. “We wanted to set achievable goals and then smash them.”
If you’re attending the Winter Formal, be sure to bring your black tie best.
“It’s going to be the dinner, the dance, the whole nine yards. Some girls even mentioned wearing their grad dresses,” says Russell.
The Winter Formal is on Dec. 1, at 5p.m. in the Nest and includes dinner and one drink. The Winter Formal is $10 for students and $15 for non-students. Tickets can be purchased on the NAITSA website or at the office in E-131. You can find forms for the Food Service Christmas hampers on the NAITSA website as well.
– Kelsey Baker
Photo by Kathleen Freeman