Oak Bay firefighters pose with members of Willows Elementary School after dropping off a $5,000 donation on Wednesday. (Jesse Laufer/News staff)

Oak Bay firefighters pose with members of Willows Elementary School after dropping off a $5,000 donation on Wednesday. (Jesse Laufer/News staff)

Christmas comes early to Willows Elementary

Oak Bay firefighters continue to give back with $5,000 donation to local elementary school

Oak Bay firefighters continued their festive giving Wednesday.

Shortly after 1 p.m. four firemen arrived at Willows Elementary and promptly dropped off a $5,000 cheque.

The funds were raised during this year’s Sausage Fest and will be administered by the Willows Elementary School Parent Advisory Council (PAC).

LOOK BACK: Sun shines on Sausage Fest in Oak Bay

“I think that putting it towards the home reading libraries in the classrooms is a good place for it to go,” said school principal Wendy Holob. “We could always use more books for that.”

PAC president Cindy Rodier agreed.

“We have a lot of newer teachers this year that haven’t built up their classroom stock that tends go with them,” Rodier noted. “If they switch schools they would keep the books that they bought themselves, but if we buy the books they would stay here in the school as part of the school supply.”

READ MORE: Willows school boasts newest Oak Bay playground

Unlike some other schools, Willows is non-fundraising. That means they don’t ask parents to sell charity items, such as Christmas trees or poinsettias, to generate additional money. Instead, they will sometimes ask those who are able to make one-time donations as needed. Rodier said that helps ensure that all money raised stays in the school instead of also being required to pay for the capital cost of fundraising items that may not have been sold.

The choice to invest the money into books stemmed from a wish list that Willows gave to the PAC. That list also included outdoor equipment and risers for the choir. Last year firefighters helped fund a new playground for Willows’ students.

“It’s just a marvelous added bonus to us. It’s like a gift at Christmas,” said Holob.



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

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