Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Praising you, oh phenomenal penny pals

Plenty of gratitude to go around

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If you're Ukrainian, you're celebrating your Christmas.

If you're head angel for the Free Press annual Pennies from Heaven campaign, you're giving thanks for all the people responsible for helping this year.

A big, big thank you once again to the thousands of mostly anonymous children and students out there who cajoled, persuaded, pleaded and asked for the coins which form the backbone of our campaign.

Today they are looking for pennies, but mark my words: This is the next generation who will soon be contributing the dollars which will help the many worthy charities out there.

Thanks to the members of Doc Walker -- Chris Thorsteinson, Dave Wasyliw and Murray Pulver -- for adding a musical touch to our campaign this year. They sing Beautiful Life and they helped make it a beautiful campaign this year.

The guitar autographed by them -- and the amethyst and diamond ring donated by our friends at Ben Moss Jewellers -- helped raise a whopping $6,661 from people who stuck money and cheques in with their ballots.

Thanks to students and staff of the Louis Riel School Division. They traditionally bring in about a fifth of our Pennies campaign, but this year a few schools stepped it up a notch. I'm sure when the totals are in they will be record-setting.

Thanks to the companies who kindly partner with us to provide drop-off sites for our bins: Walmart, RBC and Portage Place. Thanks also to the Free Press Café for our new bins there and for providing the venue for our launch this year.

Thanks to the Manitoba Art Expo and their dozens of artists who helped kick off our campaign artistically -- and with a few thousand dollars.

Thanks to Peppertree Fashions and its fundraising fashion show partners -- Jensen's Nursery and Linden Ridge Eye Care. Not only did it help our campaign with a sizable donation, but all of the people, both in the audience and the models, had a lot of fun.

Thanks also to Jensen's itself for its own fundraiser where a portion of the sales of trees and poinsettias came to Pennies.

Thanks also to the employees at Great-West Life, the restaurant in the Winnipeg Convention Centre, and to all the other workplaces who decided to hold their own Pennies fundraisers.

In-house here, our receptionist, Yvonne Souder, greeted many of you dropping off your donations. Christa Richard, Linda Reichert, Rae-Ann Smith, Brodie Milne and Bruce Leslie also helped the cause.

Kelvin Henderson in our creative services department deserves big kudos for designing our Pennies from Heaven logo and putting together the posters.

And thanks to the angels in the Free Press advertising department who put on a successful Pennies fundraiser.

Kudos to the people who volunteer with the Cheer Board to separate, roll and box the mountain of coins.

There are so many people who helped I can't name them all, but just know that I -- and more importantly, our local hungry -- appreciate all of your efforts.

We're still rolling and counting pennies, so we should be able to announce a total some time in the next few weeks in our campaign to help the Christmas Cheer Board and Winnipeg Harvest.

Thanks once again and remember: It's not too early to start hoarding pennies.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 7, 2012 B2

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