The Kamloops Blazers, as you may be aware, are not having a banner season on the ice.
The same cannot be said for the WHL team's off-ice officials and one of our city's finest couples.
The off-ice gang lost one of its own during the offseason with the passing of Jim Hill. On Saturday night, Pat Rozek, as he always does at this time of the year, handed over an envelope that was bulging at the seams. The donation to The Daily News Christmas Cheer Fund is made in Hill's memory. He was one of the good guys and his smile won't be replaced.
At the same time, another cash-filled envelope ended up in my possession, this one from Freda and Howard Brown, the keepers of the press box. Freda looks after the media moguls who hang out there the way a mother cat babysits her kittens. And, yes, we appreciate it, especially the baking that shows up on the big table at this time of the season.
Thanks to all of you folks for your generosity. May you all have a Merry Christmas and I'll see you in 2014.
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There is nothing better than getting a Monday afternoon email from the head elf stating that things are really rolling now.
And they are. More than $3,000 was added to the coffers Monday and that sent us past the 23-grand mark.
We heard from people like the gang at Cool Creek and Rocky Mountain energy. "In lieu of sending Christmas cards," they write, "we . . . are donating to local communities in a time of need." The communities of Clearwater, Nicola Valley, Chilliwack, Kamloops, Lumby, Armstrong, Cranbrook, Castlegar Princeton and Lillooet will benefit from this generosity. Thanks to you all!
Lorna McMillan and Robin Johnson are on board with us again, and they send "best wishes to all the elves at the Christmas Cheer Fund!"
I am thrilled when people recognize the elves, because the Christmas Cheer Fund really does ride on their shoulders. It certainly adds to their workload at this time of year, and no one offers up more smiles — and maybe the odd tear — than the elves as they help out.
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Things really are humming along. Dean Nicholson and our friends at Investors Group Financial Services on Sahali Terrace are huge supporters; they have the posters up and your Christmas Cheer Fund will be a daily topic of conversation.
And let's not forget the women at Curves on Laval Crescent. They have been with us from Day 1 and you just know there will be a heavy box of coins awaiting us.
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We await an opening bid on a Leroy (Krazyboy) Connell limited edition leather jacket that retails for about $800. A minimum bid of $400 will get us started. To make that bid, call our front desk (250-372-2331) or stop by our office at 393 Seymour St. The deadline is Friday, Dec. 20, at 3 p.m.
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With The Daily News picking up all administrative expenses associated with the fund, we guarantee that every penny that comes in will end up in the hands of an area charity. This time, the Christmas Cheer Fund will be shared equally by the Kamloops Food Bank, the Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice Home, the New Life Mission, the Kamloops United Church's PIT Stop program and the YMCA-YWCA Y Women's Shelter.
If you would like to make a donation, feel free to drop into our office at 393 Seymour St., where one of the elves at the front desk will be pleased to help. There also are coupons in this newspaper that will help you with your donation.
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S. White $20
Lorna McMilland and Robin Johnson $50
Phyllis Bolster, in memory of Art $50
Rod Murchie $25
In memory of Jim Hill (Kamloops Blazers off-ice officials) $430
Freda and Howard Brown $100
Kamloops Daily News subscribers $67
June Wallin $100
In memory of Allan Radies $300
Dorothy C. Wright $25
All the staff at Cool Creek and Rocky Mountain Energy $100
Susan and Gary McIntyre $50
Margaret Phipps $15
Wendy Dickson and Kim Basson, in memory of Peter Basson $25
Shannon and Del Schneider $200
Westwood Fibre Ltd. $500
A.J. and G.L. Morrissette $200
Remembering Deania Zerebeski $150
Remembering Ed McClinton $50
TODAY'S CHEER $3,252
PREVIOUS TOTAL $19,765.05
OVERALL TOTAL $23,017.05