HAPPY New Year to you all. I hope you all had a very merry Christmas.
I know many folks had an improved holiday season due to your generosity to this fundraising effort, and many others like it.
Our Spirit of Christmas campaign at the Free Press sports department is in support of the Christmas Cheer Board and in speaking with Kai Madsen on Friday, it sounds like it was another fine effort by his crew of volunteers.
"It went smooth as clockwork," said the Cheer Board executive director.
Madsen was still beaming on Friday over the $50,000 donation made to the Cheer Board this week by Kirby and Marie Fontaine, but he was equally effusive in his praise for each and every dollar kicked in by readers of this paper and all the other fundraising efforts.
"Without people like them none of this would happen," he said. "We always need the community to come together for something like this to work and they do."
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of receiving a significant donation to our campaign when the Canadian Tire stores of Winnipeg dropped off their annual contribution — this year it was a whopping $30,000.
Canadian Tire Jumpstart is a national charitable program launched in 2005 and each year the local stores have chosen the Cheer Board, through our Spirit of Christmas fund, as one of their charities of choice.
Jay Crowley, owner of the Canadian Tire store in Southdale, who spoke to me Friday on behalf of all the stores in Winnipeg and their staff, who really make this type of thing happen, said the Cheer Board is one of their favourite donations of the year because of Madsen’s dedication and that 100 per cent of the money gets to the cause rather than the process.
"We hope we helped make Christmas a little less painful for some families and perhaps created some joy in their homes," Crowley said. "We’re grateful the folks of this city support our Canadian Tire stores so we’re glad we can help like this.
"It’s gut-wrenching that there is this type of need in a province like ours, but there is and so we’re happy to be involved with trying to help."
While the large donations from Canadian Tire and the Fontaine’s surely aid the cause, we still need help to ensure the Cheer Board doesn’t face a deficit in its 2012 operation. We will continue our campaign here at the Free Press for a few more weeks, so if you feel you might have a little left over from your holiday spending, please consider helping us help them.
Thanks again for your continued support and all the best to you and yours in 2013.
Please send your donations to The Spirit of Christmas, c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, R2X 3B6 or to make a credit card donation call our classified department at 204-697-7100.
They have the Spirit:
Khartum Shriners Pipes & Drum Band $430.00
In memory of Eich & Sumiko $25.00
Paul’s Hauling Employees $2,000.00
Grace, Anna & Emily $25.00
Outsiders 10 Pin Bowling $61.00
In memory of Elaine Wiebe, $50.00
Murray & Betty Guild Manitoba Building & Construction Trade Council $3,000.00
Staff & Clients of Performance Landscaping $125.00
Joan & Clark Whyte $50.00
Don & Vicky Rudyk $100.00
Anne-Marie & Gerard McCarthy $150.00
In memory of Steve, Jean & Cliff $75.00
Derek Fewer Leslie Sarchuk $200.00
Gerald R. Wersch $50.00
In memory of Grant Holmes $100.00
In memory of Jack & Matt McJannet $100.00
In memory of Glenn Bell $100.00
Larry & Llowyin Weselake $75.00
Pat Lench & Donald Menzies $100.00
Mrs. Beverley Joy Schubert $500.00
Robert & Jean McKenzie $200.00
Joyce & Paul Harris $25.00
R. & J. Lewis $50.00
In memory of Frank & Eileen Jones $25.00
In memory of Bob & Edith Turner $25.00
James Reid $100.00
Geraldine Grundy $150.00
In memory of Carolyn Gillespie $100.00
G. A. Hesse $200.00
Isobel Hesse $200.00
Robert Smith $200.00
In memory of Jack & Kitty Brasier $80.00
In memory of Jack Scott, Lorky Holowka & Phyllis Scott $150.00
Mr. & Mrs. William Kinnear $50.00
In memory of Elizabeth & Finley Scaife $200.00
James & Lorraine Griffiths $100.00
In memory of Kenny Ingram & Betty Townsend $50.00
Nicole Tytgat $25.00
Beverley Corbett $25.00
In memory of Irma Arthurs, Ron Bell & Ed Hilditch $250.00
In memory of George & Alice Smallacombe $50.00
The Knights of the Round Table $470.00
Gordon & Mildred Mills $50.00
In memory of Jack & Jean McKay $50.00
Thursday Wildewood Best Ball Group $75.00
Barry & Carol Duncan $100.00
In memory of Byron & Jessie Angus $100.00
In memory of Bob Caughlin $50.00
In memory of Mom, Dad, Nana & Bompa $25.00
Pembina Oldtimer’s Rec. Assoc. $445.00
M. I. (Myrene) Hodgson $25.00
Ray & Beth Harris $100.00 Olga Dilay $50.00
P. Joyce De Vrieze $100.00
Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. $4,000.00
In memory of Frances Koshowski, Tyler, Myles, Riley Koshowski $25.00
In memory of Marina Aguilera, Tyler, Myles, Riley Koshowski $25.00
Anonymous (three donations) $825.00
Today’s Total $16,086.00
Previous total $72,264.00
Grand Total $88,350.00