Minister of Environment and Planning Sylvan Richards with chief organisers of&nbsp;&lsquo;Christmas in the Park After Dark&rsquo; Francine Trott and Georgette Caines. <em>*Photo supplied</em>
Minister of Environment and Planning Sylvan Richards with chief organisers of ‘Christmas in the Park After Dark’ Francine Trott and Georgette Caines. *Photo supplied

TUESDAY, JANUARY 21: Yesterday the Minister of Environment and Planning the Hon. Sylvan Richards JP MP congratulated staff at the Department of Parks for their tremendous efforts in collecting non-perishable food and household items for those in need over the holiday season through their initiative, “Christmas in the Park After Dark”.

Christmas in the Park After Dark”– a light show and food drive – was an idea devised by the employees of the Department of Parks to assist charities with food collection for families in need.

The team designed and built a Christmas-themed light and prop display throughout the Botanical Garden, and also decorated the Camden House exterior, to entice people to visit the garden and make a donation of a non-perishable item as they entered. The Initiative ran from November 15th 2012 until December 31st 2012. Additionally, ‘Donation Stations’ were set up in the offices of the Department of Public Transportation; TCD; the Department of Environmental Protection; the Department of Tourism; Public Works HQ; the Aquarium; the National Training Board and Marsh Folly Depot.

“We collected literally thousands of food items, as well as monetary donations,” explained Parks Director Lisa-Dawn Johnston. “Members of the public donated everything from paper towels to tins of soup and boxes of cereal and we wish to thank them for their incredible support and outreach during these austere times.”

The Department of Parks will distribute the goods to various charities across the island throughout the week.

Minister Richards said: “I am so proud of the staff of the Department of Parks for creating the vision for Christmas in the Park After Dark. It says a lot about the character of those in the Department who I understand were so elated at the success of the initiative that they plan to make it an annual event!

“I also wish to thank those members of the public who made donations for their generosity and kinship towards their fellow Bermudians in these tough times…it is a testament to the true Bermudian spirit.”