New Brunswick

'Amazing': City Market show raises $58K for Harbour Lights campaign

CBC Information Morning Saint John's annual Christmas at the City Market show raised about $58,000 within a couple of hours Friday for the Harbour Lights Campaign in support of food banks in southwestern New Brunswick.

More than $143K raised so far in support of food banks in southwestern New Brunswick

People packed the Saint John City Market on Friday for the annual CBC Information Morning Saint John show in support of the Harbour Lights campaign. (Julia Wright/CBC)

CBC Information Morning Saint John's annual Christmas at the City Market show raised about $58,000 within a couple of hours Friday for the Harbour Lights Campaign in support of food banks in southwestern New Brunswick.

The 2018 campaign, which began Dec. 3, has raised more than $143,000 so far and continues until Dec. 24.

The show of support is "amazing," the president of the New Brunswick Association of Food Banks, Laurie Stewart, said as he scanned the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd.

"It always is," he said.

People were lined up down the street well in advance of the City Market doors opening around 6 a.m., ready to enjoy some live music, a hot breakfast and good cheer.

Many were hoping to secure one of the limited-edition Harbour Lights mugs, handcrafted by David Eastwood of Clay Design Inc. in Central Hampstead.

There was a limit of two per person, but by 6:44 a.m., the coveted $30 mugs were sold out.

The headliner band, Ladd & Lasses, and students from the Anglophone South School District strings program, under the direction of Alison Leonard, had toes tapping, while Mayor Don Darling and council members were busy serving up eggs, sausages and hash browns at the North Market Seafood stall for $5 a plate.

And CBC reporter and Gas Guru Robert Jones, as always, brought the house down with his humorous predictions for 2019.

Robert Jones's predictions about the year to come

4 years ago
Duration 4:04
Information Morning’s annual Christmas at the City Market show broadcasts live on Friday, and includes - as always - predictions by the CBC’s Gas Guru, Robert Jones. But the predictions aren’t about petroleum prices, but about the year to come.

The Harbour Lights campaign raises money for 15 food banks from St. Stephen to Saint John and Sussex.

Stewart said needs are on the rise right across the province.

The New Brunswick Association of Food Banks, which represents 61 food banks, is feeding about 25,000 people a month, he said.

About 40 per cent are children, said Stewart. Single parents, low-income families and a growing number of seniors make up the remainder, he said.

The association has solid corporate support and a roster of dedicated volunteers, but is always looking for more, said Stewart.

The Harbour Lights Tree is all LED bulbs now, said Paula Copeland, director of communications for Port Saint John.

Every year, Port Saint John installs a 30-metre tall Christmas tree on the harbourfront, covered with hundreds of lights bulbs.

Each $2 donation lights a bulb. It takes $50,000 to light up the whole tree, including the newly refurbished star. That goal was reached within the first nine days of the campaign.

Donations to Harbour Lights can be made at the CBC Saint John studio in the Brunswick Square atrium Monday through Friday, between 6 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., or online through CanadaHelps.org.

Java Moose is also selling a Harbour Lights blend with $5 from every $20 bag going toward the campaign, and another $5 to the Saint John SPCA Animal Rescue.

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