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Pub shares Christmas cheer with seniors

The folks at Moonrakers Pub have discovered that the holiday season can be a boon for the young, but it's often a lonely and difficult time for seniors. The pub, located at 525 Seventh St.

The folks at Moonrakers Pub have discovered that the holiday season can be a boon for the young, but it's often a lonely and difficult time for seniors.

The pub, located at 525 Seventh St., is holding a Be a Santa to a Senior luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 15 from 11: 30 a.m. to 1: 30 p.m. Three dollars from every meal sold will be used to buy vulnerable seniors Christmas gifts.

"Christmas is a time of celebration, and we've decided to celebrate the people in our world who often get overlooked at this time of year," said Rhea Reutlinger, manager at Moonrakers. "Many seniors go without, and this will bring a little cheer into their lives."

Krista Frazee, support services manager at the Senior Services Society, said 30 per cent of female seniors and 17 per cent of male seniors in New Westminster are on low incomes. If people want to help seniors but cannot make it to the lunch, they can donate items such as gift cards, toiletries, Christmas treats, and nonperishable food items to the Senior Services Society.

"Given that it is shaping up to be a cold winter, we are also encouraging people to purchase scarves, gloves, mittens, hats and blankets," Frazee added.

Food for all

After marching in the Hyack Christmas Parade of Lights on Dec. 3, cadets and volunteers of Fraser Sea Cadets spread out across New Westminster to collect donations for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

This corps held its third annual food drive, which sees cadets distributing 1,000 paper bags to homes with a letter requesting donations.

"We drop the bags off on a Thursday during our normal training and return for donated food about a week later," said Chief Petty Officer Alex Berkovets. "The food drive is a highlight of our year as we are able to help local families and those in need."

Lieut. Bryan Watson raved that the Fraser cadets surpassed the amount collecting during last year's food drive.

"Fraser collected 90 boxes of food weighing over 2,000 pounds in a little over two hours tonight," he said. "We have been extremely successful over the years and are thrilled to have donated over 6,000 pounds of food since 2009."

Watson, who is the executive officer of the corps of 50 youth, said about 40 cadets participated in the food drive.

"They loved it. It's pretty neat," he said. "It's that time of year when people are in need of food support."

Fraser Sea Cadets is celebrating 70 years serving the Royal City. Cadets aged 12 to 18 take part in citizenship, leadership and physical fitness training at their facility on Annacis Island. Cadets have opportunities to attend summer camp, learn to sail, travel on international exchanges and meet new friends with no cost to sign up or participate.

Anyone interested in joining the cadets can visit


Wild Rice is serving up food at its new River Market restaurant, but it's also helping residents in their own kitchens.

Todd Bright, executive chef at Wild Rice, has begun teaching cooking classes in dim-sum making at the newly opened restaurant in River Market. The classes got underway on Dec. 5 and continue on Dec. 12 and 19.

Each class starts at 6 p.m. and costs $30. It includes a four-course dinner at the conclusion of the evening and an optional wine pairing is available for an additional $15.

Seats for these classes are limited, and pre-registration is required. To sign up, call Wild Rice New Westminster at 7783970028 or contact Caroline Levy at caroline@wildrice

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