WINNIPEG — The Christmas Cheer Board has opened its doors for the 2021 holiday season.
It’s the first time in more than 25 years that Kai Madsen won’t be at the helm of the seasonal operation. The former executive director of the Cheer Board passed away on October 6 at the age of 80.
“As a team, we met and discussed what the season would be like without Kai at the helm,” said new executive director Shawna Bell. “It’s hard, but we know he’s cheering us on and we’ll work to deliver on our commitment to making the season a bit brighter for those in need.”
Hampers put together by Cheer Board volunteers will help the city’s less fortunate population enjoy the holidays with food, toys and other items. As the pandemic drags on, food vouchers are once again being distributed this year in an effort to keep everyone safe. They will be redeemable at Sobeys, Safeway, FreshCo and IGA outlets.
“This has certainly been a year of change for the Cheer Board,” Bell added. “As an organization, we continue to focus on making a difference for families in need over the holidays. Our volunteers are excited to bring toys back for the kids this year, and revive the magic of the season!”
The Cheer Board has moved to 1081 Ellice Avenue and will work to find a more permanent location next season. Anyone wishing to lend a hand or apply for a hamper can call (204) 989-5680.