Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

I wear the wings, but our readers are the real angels

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The presents have been opened, the turkey has been eaten and our Christmas elves are still sorting and counting pennies.

One other Christmas tradition has also been concluded: our annual draw (but more on that in a bit).

The Winnipeg Free Press's 18th annual Pennies from Heaven campaign is literally rolling to a conclusion faster than you can say Kris Kringle. Our bins at local Walmart stores, RBC branches, the second floor of Portage Place and the News Café will be disappearing for another year after this weekend.

Just as Pennies founder Mike Ward and past head angels Gordon Sinclair Jr. and Lindor Reynolds did before me, I donned the angel wings -- along with my daughters, Sarah and Mary -- and encouraged you, our readers, to support the fundraising cause that supports both the Christmas Cheer Board and Winnipeg Harvest.

Two weeks ago we put out the plea that the Cheer Board volunteers were worried that our donations were down dramatically. You responded, both to our draw and by filling our coin bins, but it will be some time until we know our final totals.

Whatever the tally, be assured your assistance has helped many people in Winnipeg who might not otherwise have been able to celebrate the holidays with food and presents if not for the Christmas Cheer Board.

And after Christmas -- because hunger doesn't take a holiday -- Winnipeg Harvest helps thousands of people every month with their food needs.

While it wasn't mandatory to send a donation, our little draw did raise more than $5,200. We thank the people who contributed to the cause.

Cheryl Martens of Winnipeg was thrilled to win the white gold and Canadian ice diamond pendant courtesy of Ben Moss Jewellers.

"This can't be -- I never win anything," an excited Martens told me.

Larry McCrady of Morris was pleased to win a day with either RBC Olympian Jared Funk or Jill Officer. I've left a message for the other winner.

And Evelyn Cyr couldn't believe her good luck at knowing for the next few months she is going to be an avid concertgoer after winning the package that includes tickets to Sarah Brightman, Blue Rodeo, Randy Bachman, the Tragically Hip, Jeremy Hotz, Great Big Sea, Charley Pride and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Thanks to everyone who sent in their ballots!

Big thanks also to everyone who dons the angel wings in their own way, including the Free Press's Christa Richard, Kelvin Henderson and Linda Huff and our advertising department, which held a successful fundraising initiative; the Cheer Board's Kai Madsen and all his angels who collect the coins throughout the campaign; and Winnipeg Harvest's David Northcott.

Big thanks also to Walmart, RBC and Portage Place and their wonderful employees who kindly allow us the space to set up our bins.

We're not sure yet if next year's campaign will have the same name since the federal government is going to start melting down pennies on Feb. 4, but unfortunately a fundraising campaign for the hungry will still be needed, so we will be there for them.

And there will be one more fundraising effort in the next few weeks connected to the dying penny -- but more on that later.

For now, thanks once again.

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

We couldn't do it without all of you

A flap of the angel wings for these generous donors:

In memory of Bill Bouttell

Velma Motheral

John and Lillian Kinczylo

Reid and Bette Birss

Charles and Hilda Curtis

Anonymous

Irene Arnaud

Elaine Dale

In memory of Ann

Nick and Agnes Baraniuk

Anonymous

Morley and Brenda Plummer

Edith Hansen

Kathy MacLeod

Share Our Strength Canada

In memory of Lynne

Pauline Quigley

Heather and Terence Anderson

In memory of Jennie and Bob Comstock

Deborah Le Bane

In memory of Grandma

In memory of Jamie Gerry Karr

Anne Friesen

Joyce and Raymond Cumming

Claudia and William Senkiw

In memory of Don McNeil

Dave and Barb Gemmell

Bernie Wood

In memory of Alfons Hart

In memory of Samuel Edward Ermet

In memory of Todd Edward Ermet

Anonymous

Louise and Frank Gogal

Arnold Margolis

Ingrid Nickel

Jean Sorko

Cassandra Remedios

In memory of Eva Dean

Sophia Scaletta

Sara Scaletta

Jerry and Anne Collard

In memory of Peter Komarnicki

In memory of Rudy Comeault

In memory of Raymond Ritchie

In memory of John H. Peters

In memory of Frieda Hastman

Manitoba Hydro Credit & Recovery Services Department

Manitoba Legislature Building staff and politicians

École Lorette Immersion

Olivia Sutherland

Anonymous

Mavis Gray

Evelyn and Brent Cyr

Margaret Barbour

Brock Corydon School

In memory of Alan Melnic

In memory of Gordon Brennan

In memory of Elsie Kohut

Gerri Gregory

Lindenwood Manor residents

Winnipeg Hydro Reunion fundraiser

Joseph and Heather Corbett

Ruddick and Jacqueline Renaud

Elizabeth Hutton

Robert and Gail Derby

Pamela Johnson

In memory of Edith Rose

In memory of Ted and Lisa Lamontagne

Joyce and Knut Lindstein

Elizabeth Tisdale

P and P Cloutier

Elizabeth Borup

Karen Veitch

Bette Serger

Derrelyn and Adolf Reinfort

Rosemary Gill

Ian and Rhonda Willows

Donna Stone

Anonymous

Ada Greeley

In memory of Dick McCullough

Ruth Zahodnik

William and Bareth Sutherland

Esther Klassen

Shirley Gaudry and family

Carl and Linden Albertson

Calvin and Carole Rowley

On behalf of Brin Ledger in lieu of Christmas gifts

Alicja Szarkiewicz

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 5, 2013 B2

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