Curlers hurry hard for needy

JIM BENDER

, Last Updated: 10:51 AM ET

Man, this was like scoring a six-ender when you were only expecting three.

The Deer Lodge Curling Club's annual Christmas Cheer Board Raffle raised a record amount this yuletide. In fact, the antlered club has more than doubled last year's total and we're still counting.

The Lodge counted up a total of $441.50 -- the half of what was raised from the raffle that goes to the Cheer Board. We're still adding because Kenny (Cockroach) Stenson, a club member and former raffle winner, donated a large bag of pennies that we will add to the total going to the Cheer Board once those coppers are counted.

Last year, the raffle produced $178 for the Cheer Board so, well done, everyone.

This is the third year my friends at my home club have gotten involved and yes, it may have helped our total when all of those fans crammed in to watch some great curling during the junior men's provincials.

Special thanks, once again, to Jody Smart, my favourite bar manager, Brent, Dan, Frank and everyone else who pitched in to twist arms and count coins. And thanks, too, to all of you generous curlers and curling fans for buying tickets time after time. Have a Merry Curling Christmas.

OLD FRIEND: Another familiar name came across my desk with his annual donation. Although he prefers to be known as "Old Coot," he has proven to be one of the most generous old coots of his generation.

"Here again is my contribution for the Christmas Cheer Board through your "Santa" column," he penned in a pretty Christmas card. "I know the need remains partly because of our troubled economy. Therefore, I feel it is up to those of us who can, to actually do."

Thanks, old friend, and you are right, the need gets greater every year for those who are forced to go without most of the year. Have a wonderful Christmas.

MORE TO COME: We are only about halfway to last year's total of about $81,000 and the Cheer Board is relying on all of us to come through to cover the costs of assembling the hampers that have already been delivered to about 19,000 needy families.

But we are still expecting some good news from the Tower of Toys at The Forks, the Shell promotion, the Christmas Bingo, the bowlers, the Marigold, Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club and others. We will let you know those totals just as soon as they come in.

But even though the Man in the Red Suit comes down the chimney tonight, it is not too late to help the Cheer Board out.

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:

Deer Lodge Curling Club Christmas Cheer Board Raffle ... $441.50

"Old Coot" ... $400

Sport Partners of Sport Manitoba and Sport Manitoba ... 200

St. Nicholas Men's Club ... 150

"In Memory of Our Parents, Les and Dorothy Walker" ... 100

Deane & Russel Ehnes ... 100

Jim Neufeld ... 100

Colin McEachern ... 100

Ted (Dutch) Holland ... 50

Terrance Wolowiec ... 30

"In Memory of Seraphine Ternette & Marjorie Smith" ... 25

Stephen Kinch ... 25

"In Loving Memory of Jack Bender" ... 20

"In Loving Memory of Peter & Mary Klassen" ... 20

"In Loving Memory of Florence Dale" ... 10

"In Memory of Doreen Strople" ... 10

Today's total ... $1,761.50

Total to Date ... $43,946.80

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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