6th annual Carols By Candlelight charity event

By Margot Thomas

The sixth annual Carols by Candlelight charity concert organized by the CanadaPLUS Foundation will be held on the Cinta Costera on Saturday December 3 raising funds for Santo Tomas Hospital and Vision of Hope.

There will be four participating choirs and a solo performer and, of course, the audience which is  invited raise their candles  to join in the singing of their  favorite carols from an illustrated  bi-lingual song book available free in selected stores across Panama City at month’s end.

The concert  will take place at Mirador del Pacifico at the Fish Market end of The Coastal Strip.

img_5811The concert is free, and you can take along your own ground cover  chair or stool , or take advantage of a reserved seat. which includes a souvenir LED candle carrying your seat number.

A 79-year tradition
The Carols by Candlelight tradition began in Melbourne Australia in 1938, a year after a radio broadcaster on his way home on Christmas Eve, saw an old woman sitting alone at her window holding a candle and singing Away in a Manger.

Wondering how many people in the city were also alone on that night he organized a choir with a bombero band, and 10,000 people arrived for the first event.

Since then it has spread to cities all over Australia, and continued without a break every year since, including during WW II, raising multi-millions for charity.

carols-ozIt has morphed into a celebrity event with fans paying over $50  to attend a rehearsal.

It was also adopted by countries around the world.

Panama beneficiaries
The first event in Panama was held in Plaza De Francia in Casco Viejo in 2010 and attracted some 3,000 people

CanadaPLUS donation to Santo Tomas Hopital Dra Nuvia Batista, Dacsaris Almengor and Diogenes Arjona

One of the critical care units donated to Santo Tomas Hospital ‘s internal medicine department

Carols by Candlelight has raised money for Foundation Calicanto,  Hogar Malambo, and Vision of Hope  and  has donated monitoring equipment, wheelchairs and ward furniture to Hospital Santo Tomas while supporting events at the Hospital del Nino.

Vision of Hope is a unique program located in the City of knowledge, which teaches blind and disabled Panamanians to make jewelry and become functioning self supporting members of the community

Performers from across the province of Panama, Chiriqui,  and Canada have donated their services.

Seat reservations are available from October 19 at $20 silver and $25 gold.

If you don’t want a reserved seat you can purchase a souvenir LED candle at $10. It lasts for over 50 hours and your donation provides ongoing help for the Foundation’s charitable  activities.

Seat reservations and candle orders (of $20 or more) will be delivered  to your home or office.

To order call 6619-6890. 225-3860 or email carolspanama@gmail.com