Wrapping up successful Miracle on Mountain campaign


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Free Press readers helped scale the mountain once again with their generosity in helping bring cheer to the people who needed it most this holiday season.

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Free Press readers helped scale the mountain once again with their generosity in helping bring cheer to the people who needed it most this holiday season.

The annual Miracle on Mountain fundraiser raised a total of $93,599 for the Christmas Cheer Board — and some late donations are still coming in.

Paul Samyn, Free Press editor, said he was thrilled with this year’s fundraising campaign.

“Once again, Free Press readers have risen to the challenge of our annual Miracle on Mountain campaign,” Samyn said. “I can’t say enough about the generosity of our audience and their willingness to help us make a difference in the lives of so many in our city.”

One of those late donations came to the Free Press offices Friday.

Dakota Collegiate’s Andrew Shelton, accompanied by students of the grades 9-12 school’s Skills for Life program, delivered a cheque for $1,350.

“The money was raised during our annual hamper drive,” Shelton said. “Every December… we collect food and money from students to put together hampers for some of our Dakota families who need support, as well as for Miracle on Mountain. This year, we put together over 30 hampers.”

Shawna Bell, chief elf of the Christmas Cheer Board, said she is pleased with not just the donations received from this year’s Miracle campaign but also how the organization’s 103rd annual fundraiser went.

“It took my breath away,” Bell said. “We had 18,225 hampers this year. I looked back over 15 years and in 2008 and 2009, we had more than 18,000, but I don’t know how accurate that was.

“Either way, this was one of the top years for need.”

Bell said the charity is still paying this year’s bills, so every donation received — and even late ones — comes in handy.

In a Cheer Board survey of people who received hampers (280 responses) many brought up how there weren’t any turkeys or chickens in this year’s hampers, Bell said.

The Cheer Board decided not to include them this year, using the money saved to bolster the amount of protein in each hamper and increase the quality of the food included, she said.

“I don’t think we will go back to turkeys, but we will explore options like giving a gift card to offset the costs.”

For a year that started out with the Cheer Board knowing there was a greater need than many others — evidenced by the thousands of calls per day for hampers — it was great to have been able to help so many people, Bell said.

Once again, a sincere thanks once again from all of us at the Free Press. We really couldn’t do it without you — and we will be talking with you again later this year.


Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.

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