Christmas is a little less than three months away, but the Christmas Cheer Board is in the spotlight already as the organization marks its 100th anniversary.
During a celebration tonight at Government House, the Cheer Board will be honoured at a reception, along with its longtime executive director, Kai Madsen.
Madsen is marking his own milestone — 50 years at the helm leading the drive each holiday season to fill and deliver hampers to families in need.
In 1919, churches around Winnipeg started the Christmas Cheer Board to provide Christmas food hampers and toys to widows and orphans of soldiers lost during World War One. The churches later joined forces to coordinate the Christmas Cheer Board to better serve families in the community.
Today, more than 17,000 hampers and gifts are provided each year to children and families.
“Hamper recipients come from all areas of Winnipeg and reflect diverse social and economic backgrounds, as do the thousands of volunteers that donate invaluable resources and time to help support the Cheer Board each and every year,” says Madsen.
The private reception runs from 5-7 p.m. and will also recognize and honour the long-serving volunteers and community donors.