Big Man's bus comes up big for Cheer Board

JIM BENDER

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

This sleigh ride certainly must have been delightful during the rather frightful weather we endured for most of December.

The evidence is proof positive that you enjoyed the Santa Bus so thoroughly once again as Winnipeg Transit's Ed Yorski reports that yet another record total was raised for our Empty Stocking Fund. The Santa Bus raised a grand total of $16,587.91, thanks to all of you generous souls who hopped aboard. And that is actually $501.56 more than last yuletide.

"That's awesome," said Christmas Cheer Board executive director Kai Madsen. "And to get $500 more than last year is an amazing feeling.

"It shows how much the Santa Bus is being utilized and that's just wonderful."

The Santa Bus is our largest fundraiser every Christmas and it has helped us come within reach of $80,000, which would be more than last year. The amount raised will go a long way towards the Cheer Board paying the bills for assembling and delivering about 20,000 hampers.

"We're tracking pretty well to where I'm hoping to be," Madsen said. "But we're not out of the woods yet."

Thank you all for helping us help the Cheer Board and a special thanks to all of those involved at Winnipeg Transit. Well done and have a great holiday.

CLEAN-UP COIN: For yet another year, John and Toby Romanyshyn have been picking coins up off the barroom floor at the Canadiana/Thrift Lodge Motor Inn and donated them to the Cheer Board through our Fund. They also passed the hat about a week before Christmas and raised a grand total of $1,056.01. Many thanks to all those involved, especially those who might have dropped an extra coin or two while the Romanyshyns were cleaning up. Hope you all had a great Christmas.

CURLER CASH: The curlers have come through for us once again. First, the annual Cheer Board Challenge at the Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club raised $515. Throw in another $65 by some individuals who got involved but are listed separately and the overall total is $580 -- which is just shy of $100 more than last year.

'Better than nothing'

"At least it's better than nothing," said bar manager Darlyne Fathers, who kept the challenge going there after I left.

Fathers had actually carried the challenge to the Assiniboine from the old CFB club and we got another donation from ex-CFBers at the St. Vital, courtesy of my old skip, Duane Budnick.

Thanks to all of you for being so generous. May the new year bring on-ice success to all of you.

TOPPING OFF: Once again, the widow of Clarence Thio, Laraine, has topped off the donation from Chris Cottick's rag-tag River Heights hockey crew, bringing that total to $220. Thanks, Laraine, and nice to hear from you.

WINNERS: The latest donators to win four CDs of their choice are Dutch Holland and B. Lusty.

This column will soon draw to a close. But it is not too late to donate.

MAILING: Please send whatever you can spare to The Sun's Empty Stocking Fund, 1700 Church Ave., Wpg., Man. R2X 3A2. Receipts will be issued for donations of $10 or more.

Today's Good People:

Winnipeg Transit's Santa Bus ... $16,587.91(!)

"In Memory of Armond Bercier and Dean Reid From Friends at the Canadiana" ... 1,056.01

Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club Cheer Board Challenge ... 515

Ross Forbes for CFB ... 25

Deb Cloutier, Darcol International ... 20

John Sample, Darcol International ... 25

Ex-CFB Boys at the St. Vital ... 200

Big Six Curling Club, Fort Garry ... 250

"In Memory of Clarence Thio" ... 100

David Skinner ... 100

B. Lusty ... 50

Today's Total in Cash ... $18,828.92

Total Cash to Date ... $64,190.75

Total in Kind to Date ... $12,000

Total Cash and Kind ... $76,190.75


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