Over 200 scarves donated to less fortunate by Prince Albert women

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald (L to R) Mayor Greg Dionne, councillor Dawn Kilmer, councillor Charlene Miller and Eleanor George after collecting the donation of scarves from George on Saturday afternoon. Dionne, Kilmer and Miller are all wearing the scarves she made for City Council.

In what is becoming a Christmas tradition, a pair of local women combined to donate more than 200 scarves to the less fortunate as part of an annual holiday campaign.

Eleanor George teamed up with Arlene Kennedy to knit and crochet the winter gear, donating more than 200 scarves to a campaign led by Ward 1 Coun. Charlene Miller. Miller’s council colleagues also plan to help out with the campaign by creating gift bags for the city’s needy.

George explained that two or three years ago she phoned Miller and asked if she needed any scarves. In 2019 she donated money to the campaign before making 177 scarves in 2020.

“She came up to Mont St. Joseph where I was working. I gave her money and she bought what she needed and then bought mitts I think with the rest of the money,” George explained.

“I started on making right after Christmas that year. She didn’t believe I would do it but I did it.”

This year was a similar process with even more scarves. Miller, Ward 7 Coun. Dawn Kilmer and Mayor Greg Dionne came to George’s home to pick up the packages on Saturday afternoon.

“It was fine and then my friend Arlene she would help and she made 35 last year and away we went and then this year same thing,” George said.

George also created scarves for each member of City Council with their first initial emblazoned on them.

Dionne encouraged all members of council to wear their scarves during their regular meeting on Monday evening.

George said it takes her about five hours to make one scarf. Some are knitted and some are crocheted and each one has also been washed, dried, conditioned and packed into a bag.

“Two-hundred scarves times five is a lot of hours,” George said.

All told, she put in nearly 40 days of work to complete the project. The process has just become part of her routine.

“I was finished a lot earlier last year,” she said. “I took the summer off and really worked in the garden instead.”

This year’s project is the latest iteration of a donation drive Miller started five years ago.

Miller said the initiative will see gift bags dropped off on Christmas Eve at all of the City’s shelters such as Our House, Homeward Bound and the newly opened Moose Lodge warming shelter downtown.

“I usually do the women’s shelters and give them the purses,” Miller said. “For sure those are the first priority.”