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Trinity United Church hosts concert for Fort Macleod Handibus Society

Trinity United Church will host a Christmas concert in support of the Fort Macleod Handibus Society.
The concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18 will feature Pete and the Re-Petes as well as the Christmas cantata “Sing With the Angels.”
Admission is by a free will offering at the door.
“All the funds collected will go to the handibus,” Rev. Eras Van Zyl said. “We want to give them a big Christmas gift.”
Rev. Van Zyl said the handibus is an important asset to the Fort Macleod community.
“The community benefits greatly from this service and the excellent personal service from Don Doherty, the driver,” Rev. Van Zyl said. “Don really does not spare himself in the way he serves the community.”
The handibus society bought a new bus three years ago following an extensive community fund-raising effort that brought in more than $130,000.
The demands of 40 to 60 trips each day puts wear and tear on the handibus, resulting in repairs to the ramp and door.
As well, the handibus society relies on donations from the community to finance its operations in large part, in order to keep fees low for the people who use the service, many of whom are seniors on fixed incomes.
“The handibus is close to my heart because I can see how much it means to those who need transport,” Rev. Van Zyl said. “I believe, as we look at what is happening economically, that this service is going to become even more essential.”
The Fort Macleod Handibus Society has an annual budget of $98,000.
The Fort Macleod handibus operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. during summer months. Saturday service from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. commences in mid October and continues until the end of April.
Bus fare is $3 per ride. People can also buy a $30 bus pass for 12 trips or a $90 monthly pass for an unlimited number of rides. Fares charged cover about 40 per cent of operating costs.
Trinity United Church choir will perform the 25-minute Christmas cantata “Sing with the Angels,” which focuses on the role the angels played at Christmas.
“We tend to forget how important they were,” Rev. Van Zyl said.
Following the cantata, Pete and the Re-Petes will play traditional and popular Christmas songs such as O Come All Ye Faithful, Joy to the World and an excerpt from Handel’s Messiah.
Pete and the Re-Petes are the Van Waardhuizen family, featuring father Pete on organ, and daughters Corina on keyboard, Helen on violin, Joni on trumpet and Janette on pan flute.
“Pete and his family will again present an excellent presentation of Christmas music and carols,” Rev. Van Zyl said.
The audience will be invited to sing along with some of the carols.
Refreshments will be served after the concert.
“I think it will be an evening of good Christmas celebration for all to enjoy,” Rev. Van Zyl said.

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