CUPE members move the ‘North Pole’

WESTLOCK – CUPE members in Westlock are helping Santa Clause pack up the North Pole this year.

Businesses, residents, community groups and agencies throughout the community support the annual Santa’s Anonymous campaign by donating toys and food for needy families.

These items are brought to the old Peevee Mart Building in Westlock, which is transformed into the ‘North Pole.’  That’s where volunteers put together care packages of toys and food for needy families.  When the campaign is over, all the chairs tables, shelving, and remaining toys must be packed up, hauled out and delivered to the county building where they are safely stored until Santa pulls up his sleigh next year and the annual campaign starts again.

CUPE is offering members up to assist in the heavy lifting of ‘moving the North Pole.’

“It’s a huge job,” said Janet Riopel, representative of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.  “Last year there was a large moving truck full of stock.”

“People in the area are very generous, and this is one of the things we can do to support the program and needy families in the community,” said Riopel.

Michelle Veenbaas, contact person with FCSS (Family and Community Support Services) said CUPE provides a valuable service.

“We could not run this campaign without the incredible support of groups like CUPE and their members,” said Veenbaas.  “Packing up the North Pole is a huge undertaking that can often be overlooked.  We wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of people like Janet and the members of CUPE.”

Contact: Janet Riopel


For more information about CUPE Alberta, visit


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