December 18, 2018

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Storage space for turkeys has head elf giving thanks

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Christmas Cheer Board head elf Kai Madsen.</p></p>

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Christmas Cheer Board head elf Kai Madsen.

It’s not Thanksgiving, but Christmas Cheer Board head elf Kai Madsen is giving thanks to a Winnipeg company for giving the seasonal charity space to store the frozen turkeys destined for the tables of local people in need.

For the first time in more than a decade, the Cheer Board has moved locations, centralizing its Christmas hamper operations at 947 St. James St. (better known as the site of a former Staples office retail store).

Madsen said he is pleased with the location, but while the new digs can accommodate the transport and storage of dried goods, toys and presents, which will be packed into the thousands of hampers it sends out during this festive season, there is no place to store frozen turkeys.

“We handle around 15,000 birds,” he said. “We can’t do what we do without turkeys.”

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It’s not Thanksgiving, but Christmas Cheer Board head elf Kai Madsen is giving thanks to a Winnipeg company for giving the seasonal charity space to store the frozen turkeys destined for the tables of local people in need.

For the first time in more than a decade, the Cheer Board has moved locations, centralizing its Christmas hamper operations at 947 St. James St. (better known as the site of a former Staples office retail store).

Madsen said he is pleased with the location, but while the new digs can accommodate the transport and storage of dried goods, toys and presents, which will be packed into the thousands of hampers it sends out during this festive season, there is no place to store frozen turkeys.

"We handle around 15,000 birds," he said. "We can’t do what we do without turkeys."

Thus, the charity needed a place to park a refrigerated, 16-metre semi-trailer.

Madsen put out a call for help and now — thanks to Neptune Capital Inc. — a property just 2½ blocks north was made available. A smaller truck will later transport the turkeys to St. James Street when needed.

"It’s a go," Madsen said Tuesday. "We are very thankful."

And not a minute too soon, he said, as Winnipeggers who have already requested hampers will begin picking them up, starting Saturday at 9 a.m.

Not coincidentally, Madsen said, that’s also when the Cheer Board hopes people who want to volunteer their time and vehicles to deliver hampers to people who can’t pick them up will come to the former Staples location to help out.

It’s also great news because the donors who come forward to help the Free Press’ annual Miracle on Mountain campaign can rest assured that when they donate their money, it will go a long way to help the people who need it the most during this festive season.

They’ll get everything they need for a festive meal, including a turkey with trimmings. Children will also receive age-appropriate toys in the hampers.

Madsen said getting two locations for the Cheer Board’s operation just shows — once again — Winnipeggers, whether individually or as a corporation, are some of the most generous people in the country.

And, when it gets down to it, that is something we can all be thankful for.

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason
Reporter

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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