Cheer Board getting ready for hamper delivery

Winkler mayor Martin Harder, with the Winkler Cheer Board, signed the Cheer Board Declaration on November 12. (LAUREN MACGILL, Winkler Times)

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‘Tis the season of giving, and the Winkler Cheer Board is preparing for another hamper delivery campaign this winter.

“We are gathering all our groceries, getting our orders placed,” president of the board Francis Fehr said. “We are now collecting applications and we’re finding that we’re probably going to be up a little bit this year again.”

Since many of the groceries have been pre-ordered, Fehr said monetary donations are appreciated. “We’re kind of committed to this knowing that we have an idea of how many hampers we’re going to have,” he said. “With that being said, the money that we get we can use quite effectively.”

Fehr said the board handed out about 350 hampers last year, and have estimated for about 365 this year. “We’ll see how it goes from there,” he said. “It’s always very last minute with some of the stuff so you kind of have to just roll with it.”

The Cheer Board has started their fundraisers, and Fehr said they have already seen success. “We’re very pleased and very honoured to be part of this community because of how they receive us,” he said.

Most schools in the area are collecting donations for the Cheer Board again, and Co-op will be holding a fundraising drive from November 19 to December 1.

The Cheer Board will start packing hampers on December 10, 11 and 12 and delivery will take place at 4:30 p.m. on December 12. Fehr said the board is particularly looking for the community to come out to help with deliveries on that day.

“We’re really looking forward to all sorts of help if we can get it,” he said. “Just come on by, we’d love to have you. With a few extra hampers we’d love to make sure they go out there in a timely manner.”

Vice president of the board Kris Derksen will be taking over as president next year, and she said the board is always surprised at how many people come out to help. “We’re always surprised with the amount of people that come out and line up and wait patiently to deliver hampers,” she said.

“It’s a slow process getting them all out the door and into the vehicles and they’re always very helpful.”

The Winkler Flyers team will also be coming out to help get hampers out.

Fehr said they have had more than enough people offer to come out to pack hampers. “We wish we could take everybody who offered every year,” he said. “We love the fact that people are willing to give up their time and donate. We have a little army already, and our biggest point where we need help would be on the delivery side.”

The cheer board will be holding their annual Holly Jolly Breakfast on Saturday, November 17 at Southland Mall. Enjoy breakfast (which is by donation) from 8 until 11 a.m. with live music and entertainment.

“I would like to say thanks to everybody,” Fehr said. “We’ve been welcomed and well received everywhere we’ve gone and anything we’ve asked for. It’s been tremendous, they’ve offered and when we’re in need they’ve supplied. We’ve got to be very fortunate that we’re in the community we are.”

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