For Shane Matushka, the Holidays are all about giving back, which is why every year, he sets up a Christmas decoration display for Hatters to tour with all proceeds going to local charities.
This year he raised more than 2,300 pounds of food to the Root Cellar, as well as a monetary donation to Alberta Pound and Rescue Centre.
“This year we did alternating days; one day we did the Root Cellar and then the next day was APARC,” Matushka told the News. “It turned out really well.”
Matushka usually begins setting up the display on Nov. 12 and opens it to the public on Dec. 1. Each night throughout the month of December, people can enjoy the display with the cost of admittance being a monetary or non-perishable donation.
“I’m going to say we had 10,000 people come through (this year),” he said. “I really appreciate the people coming through. It’s a lot of work setting it up and I’m always worried people won’t come see it, (but) even on the cold nights, they still came out.”
Matushka removed the display during last weekend’s cold weather, but intends to set it up again next year. In the meantime, he’s been busy presenting the donations to his chosen charities.
A Facebook post by the Root Cellar thanked Matushka.
“We are so grateful for all of your months of hard work to put up your beautiful display and help us support so many families,” the post read.
“It felt great,” said Matushka when describing how it felt to turn over the donations. “Just knowing you’re helping people.”
KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News