Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Three-foot angel helps fill bin

Fashion show, concert raise Christmas funds

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I was at two fundraising events for our Pennies from Heaven campaign last weekend.

One was a fashion show and the other was a concert by our Pennies ambassadors, sensational country band Doc Walker.

Thanks to Peppertree Fashions and Connie Hall -- along with all of her angels -- for organizing the fashion fundraiser. The women who modelled the clothes, eyewear and jewelry had a blast and deserved the applause they received.

Attendees also bought tickets for silent auction prizes to help our cause.

All told, the event raised $2,700 for Pennies.

And then there was the generosity of a little girl.

I was at the Doc Walker concert on Saturday night, getting the chance to go on stage and speak a bit about Pennies and the need in the community that both the Christmas Cheer Board and Winnipeg Harvest address with the help of our campaign.

Then, because of a miscommunication, during the intermission we discovered our official Pennies bin had been taken away for safekeeping, leaving me to scramble to find and hold a large blue plastic storage bin, hoping to get donations.

To make matters worse, for the first event I can think of, I didn't have my wings with me -- battered though they are -- because I couldn't think where I could store wings during a concert. ("Excuse me lady, could you take your hat off so I can see better, and the gentleman beside her, could you doff your wings?")

Thankfully, concertgoers still came up with their coins and bills.

And then a real angel walked up, all three feet of her.

I can't remember her name, but she walked up with her dad and, without saying a word, turned her change purse upside down and dumped all of the change that was in there.

She even zipped open the change pocket and dumped that as well.

With the crowd around, I only had a chance to shake her hand and thank her for her generous donation.

But if I'd had more time, I would have gone further to teach her about philanthropy, even though I'm pretty sure she has already learned it.

Her coins, when joined with others, will help another girl her age get a toy on Christmas morning when she might have received nothing. That girl will also get a hat and mitts thanks to our Christmas Cheer Board partners. Her family will also get a turkey with all the trimmings and other festive fare.

The girl's donation won't stop there. It will also help that girl's family -- and the families of thousands like her -- receive food hampers after Christmas, thanks to Winnipeg Harvest.

It just shows what people -- even little children -- can do when they put fashion, music and generous hearts together to help our local hungry.

And it all adds up.

-- -- --

There's still plenty of time to get your ballots in for our Pennies draw.

Up for grabs are a guitar autographed by Doc Walker and a 10-karat white gold Rose de France amethyst and diamond ring worth $519, donated by Ben Moss Jewellers.

Just fill out the original ballot and send it in. Draw date is Friday, Dec. 23, at noon.

Remember: It's not mandatory, but it would be great if you could include a donation to our fundraiser.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 10, 2011 A13


Updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 11:07 AM CST: added photo

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