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It is with deep regret that we announce that the Winnipeg Christmas Cheer Board’s great champion Kai Madsen has passed away.

Madsen, 80, died on Tuesday, October 5 after some months of failing health. He had stepped down as executive director of the Cheer Board earlier in the year, replaced by Shawna Bell. 

“My earliest memories of the Cheer Board were of Kai and the overwhelming warmth and kindness that he brought to the holidays every year. It is a sad day for Winnipeg. Kai will be missed by so many across the city,” said Bell. 

Madsen’s tenure with the CCB goes back more than 50 years. He worked with the board as a volunteer and then became its executive director, a post he held for more than 25 Christmas seasons. 

Kai’s presence with the Cheer Board was much more than that of an executive. His face had nearly become that of Christmas itself in Winnipeg, many media outlets echoed that thought. Just ask Winnipeggers who received holiday hampers, they would agree.

Who we are and what we do

The Christmas Cheer Board is a Canadian registered charitable organization providing approximately 17,500 Christmas hampers annually.

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.

Community minded families, individuals, community groups, and businesses raise funds, donate food, toys, money, and time.

Thousands sponsor individual families through the Feed-a-Family Program and countless knitters provide hats and mitts to include in gifts for children.

Without the gracious support from Winnipeggers, the Cheer Board could not meet the needs of Winnipeg families over the holiday season.

The office/warehouse is open during November and December. Each year we rely on donated warehouse space for our operation. Volunteers take hamper applications, complete data entry, wrap toys, sort food and pack hampers. Switchboard operators answer questions, and volunteers map out delivery routes. School students assemble and pack hampers, which are delivered by volunteer drivers.

Volunteers provide recipients hampers at the warehouse and also coordinate delivery of hampers by volunteer drivers. Countless people knit all year to provide hats and mitts to include in gifts for children. Groups and individuals may provide and deliver a hamper to families through our Feed-a-Family Program.

It takes approximately 5,000 community helpers each year for the Christmas Cheer Board to operate. Special events such as the Winnipeg Jets’ toy drives, the Manitoba Moose Teddy Bear Toss, and the TD/St. Vital Christmas Miracle help raise much needed funds.

More than half of the food and toys are donated by individuals and companies, with the rest being purchased with donated funds. The generosity of donors and volunteers is greatly appreciated.

Board of Directors

  • Jackie Britton
  • Denis Bourgeois
  • Jason Davidson
  • Lisa Gendreau
  • Jim Ketechson
  • Tracey Proctor
  • Chris Beaumont-Smith 

2021 Christmas Cheer Board AGM

The Christmas Cheer Board annual general meeting was held on Thursday, September 23 2001.

Thank you to all who attended.

For those of you who were unable to attend, or wish to learn more – please click on the presentation.

CCB AGM 2021

We always look forward to your feedback, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or comments! 


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