1:30 p.m., Dec. 5)
Visit to Magical Village a wonderful holiday tradition
By Fred Sherwin
something about model trains, miniature houses and twinkling
lights that captures the imagination of young and old
Gloucester North Lions Clubs Magical Village has
been drawing them in for more than 15 years, and in the
process, raising tens of thousands of dollars for local
Ferguson introduces his four-month-old son
Jackson to the wonderment of the Magical Village
which is open of the second floor of Place
d'Orléans until Christmas Eve. Fred
display, featuring more than 250 miniature buildings,
six model trains and hundreds of miniature lights, raised
more than $12,000 last year, the majority of which went
to the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard and the Orléans
Cumber-land Community Resourcce Centre food-bank.
North Lions Club member and Magical Village co-ordinator
Jim Proulx, is confident this years Village will
generate another five figures in donations before it wraps
up on Dec. 24.
Magical Village takes 600 hours to set up and another
600 hours to put away. In between, Lions Club members
will contribute 440 volunteer hours manning the display
with students providing an equal number of hours that
count towards their community service requirement.
many people a visit to the Magical Village has become
a holiday tradition.
and Lucie Ferguson have been bringing their two children
to the Magical Village for the past three years.
think its great, said Lucie during a visit
to the Village on Saturday. My son certainly loves
it. We come here every weekend during the holidays. He
could stay here all day.
7, was especially enamoured by the McDonalds restaurant
train.I think its really funny, said
the young man.
Reneau brought his four-month-old son Jackson to the Magical
Village on Saturday, continuing a tradition he started
with his other four kids when they were born.
fascinated by the whole thing, but I think he likes the
sound the trains make the most, said Reneau.
Magical Village was established by former Gloucester mayor
Claudette Cain in 1998 to help raise money for the Gloucester
Emergency Food Cupboard.
the first few years it was on display at the Gloucester
Centre Shopping Centre.
the city amalgamated in 2001, ownership of the Village
was handed over to the Food Cupboard and the Gloucester
Child Care Services, who, in turn, handed it over to the
Gloucester North Lions Club in 2005.
Magical Village was moved to Place dOrléans
in 2002 where it has remained ever since except for 2004
when a lack of space forced a move to the Westgate Shopping
Mall, and 2008 when a similar problem forced the Village
to close for a year.
Magical Village is located on the second floor of Place
dOrléans next to the Food Court and is open
every day during regular mall hours. Cash donations are
accepted at the entrance and nonperishable food items
are always welcomed.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)