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CP holiday Train supports area food banks

Fans did a lot of bouncing around to the music to help keep warm as they greeted the CP Holiday Train. -Photo by Ross Lees

Fans did a lot of bouncing around to the music to help keep warm as they greeted the CP Holiday Train. -Photo by Ross Lees

By Ross Lees

Jim Cuddy and the other performers braved the freezing temperatures to entertain those gathered to see the CP Holiday Train. - Photo Ross Lees

Jim Cuddy and the other performers braved the freezing temperatures to entertain those gathered to see the CP Holiday Train. – Photo Ross Lees

Fifteen years and counting, the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train continues to spread good cheer and food bank relief.

Over that 15 years, the CP Holiday Train as raised more than $7.4 million and more than three million pounds of food for food banks in Canada and the U.S. This week the program donated $7,000 to the Gleaners Food Bank – which shares with the Picton United Church County Food Bank (through the Quinte Region Foodbank Sharing System).

Picton Food Bank executive director Pat Romkey says the QRFSS has long been a partner with Picton’s and other smaller food banks in the region. She will hear soon how much of the donation will trickle down to the County, but in the meantime, she notes the food bank needs dog and cat food and hot cereal.

The Trenton Care and Share Food Bank also received $7,000 when the train stopped there yesterday, greeting its president Al Teal, with Quinte West Mayor John Williams and 8 Wing Commander Col. David Lowthian.

The announcement of the generous total brought a cheer from the large crowd attending the arrival of the train at the railroad crossing on RCAF Road.

Mr. Teal was so impressed with the donation, he couldn’t find words to express his gratitude. “I just don’t know what to say,” he said as he again looked at the cheque.

But the crowd joined him in applauding the efforts of the train and the CP employees manning it and the entertainers providing some holiday festivities to celebrate the occasion.

Melanie Doane sang and played the electric fiddle from the stage of the CP Holiday Train.-Photo by Ross Lees

Melanie Doane sang and played the electric fiddle from the stage of the CP Holiday Train.-Photo by Ross Lees

Featured performers this year were Jim Cuddy, Melanie Doane, Matt Dusk, Doc Walker, Tracey Brown, Willy Porter, The Claytones and other musical guests. Despite -5 degree temperatures, many people turned out for the annual event, some of them also donating food to the food bank as part of their attendance.

Each Holiday Train has 14 rail cars decorated with hundreds of thousands of festive lights. Included is a modified boxcar that has been turned into a travelling stage for performers supplying musical spirit of the season.

Santa also descended from the train and handed out holiday goodies to the children in the crowd while everyone enjoyed a wide variety of festive music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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