Bombers 'whup up' on Riders for charity

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:29 PM ET

At least one Winnipeg Blue Bomber was celebrating a victory in Edmonton last week.

Offensive lineman Luke Fritz won the Pepsi Refresh Project CFL Challenge, which means that Winnipeg Harvest’s Hunger for Hope became $50,000 richer.

“In a sense, we got the Grey Cup with this,” Winnipeg Harvest executive co-ordinator David Northcott trumpeted upon receiving the cheque Wednesday.

For an added bonus, the Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg donated another $10,000 to push the total to $60,000, which will pay for baby food and formula for needy infants.

The CFLPA chose Fritz as one of eight players to represent each CFL city for the project and Fritz and his wife, Erin, chose Winnipeg Harvest as their charity of choice.

“She heard about the charity about a month after we had our son, Lincoln, and it overwhelmed her that there was this many kids out there that were unable to get food and their families were unable to support them,” explained the Osoyoos, B.C., native. “When she heard that and having just had a baby, it just blew her away about that situation. So, when this came up, we really took it on as a huge responsibility.”

Fritz thanked Bomber fans for their support as CFL supporters from across the country were asked to vote for their favourite charity/player.

“I’m just so proud of this community,” said Fritz, who once saved a young woman from drowning while on vacation. “Bomber fans across the nation spoke up and were heard and you know what, we beat Saskatchewan in the final and that’s all that matters.

“I won because Bomber fans spoke louder than anyone else.”

Fritz beat Saskatchewan’s Rob Bagg, whose chosen charity was the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, on the final weekend.

“We actually whupped up on Saskatchewan,” Fritz said of the weekly elimination balloting. “In the last vote, we ended up with 100,000 while he just got 60,000.”

Had Fritz lost, Winnipeg Harvest would have received only $2,000 as part of the project.

“If this doesn’t happen, we can’t get all of the baby food and formula we need to get,” said Northcott.

The Harvest spends more than $100,000 on baby food and formula to feed about 1,600 infants a month. Everything else there is donated but the organization cannot rely on such donations to feed infants.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca

twitter@bendersun


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