Christmas Family Ball Society
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Our History

The Christmas Family Ball started in 1964 with 7 charter members: Bobby Wallace, Rosemary Devlin, Elin Dietrich, Emily Scott, Booty Wills, Barbara Blatchley and the chairman, Mrs. J. (Marion) Sutherland. These ladies sent out an invitation with a letter signed by Corny Burke as President of the Save The Children Fund.

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The dance was a success; actually a sell-out. Dance lessons were provided by Joan Straight and the guests used dance programs. Demonstrations of the dancing lessons were displayed by the youngsters as they danced the Twist, Swim, Frug, Watusi, Bird, Charlston, Cha Cha and the Samba. Entertainment midway during the evening was provided by a group of young men who called themselves “The Hawg Callers”. Donations were generous, particularly from Woodward’s and Scott Paper. Woodward’s did all the decorating in the Ballroom.

Hootenany Group

The first correspondence re. this Ball started in June of 1964.Tentative reservations for 350 - 600 guests at $3.00 each for a chicken dinner. Drinks were to be 75¢, 15¢ to the fund and 60¢ to the hotel. Well 774 dinners and 3,248 drinks later, with hotel costs of $2,373.00, the Save The Children Fund received $3,257.00. The Master of Ceremonies was Barney Potts.


The 2nd year brought Garde Gardom and Dr. Phillip Ashmore as complimentary MCs. By the way, they switched ballrooms 1/2 way through the evening. I mention this fact and will include others as some of these ideas are good and have been lost over the years.

Once again, Woodward’s Stores decorated, the cost of the band this year was paid for by “interested” parents and Alberta Distillers provided drinks for the band. Marion Sutherland chaired this Ball as well and sums up her thoughts in this letter to Chunky Woodward, as does the hotel manager to Mrs. Sutherland. The only negative comment in the minutes was they they had switched to turkey and it was not great.

Once again, dance programs were used and the following wire was received from Harrods in London, England: Regret after exhaustive enquiries among stationary trade, unable to supply suitable pencils for dance programs in this country. Well, pencils were found in Bellingham (via New York) and were purchased at 34 dozen for $105.00. Some are still in Sheila Bentley’s basement. A receiving line was held as well as the Yule Log Parade with hotel stall wearing uniforms rented and paid for by us. 890 people ate turkey at $4.25 a plate and drank drinks at 65¢ allowing a profit of $4,000.



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