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By Darcy Steen
Jingle Bells. Silent Night. Happy Holidays.
These are all songs you expect to hear around the Christmas season in mid-to-late December but on Jan. 25, these songs were sung loud and clear at the CUPS ‘Christmas In January’ event in downtown Calgary.
Four Calgary Stampeders players — Charlie Power, Spencer Wilson, Quinn Smith and Matt Walter — were joined by Calgary Stampeders alumnus Brander Craighead at the event. The boys were busy along with the 50 other registered volunteers on hand serving turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables to 325 underprivileged citizens in Calgary’s downtown and beltline areas.
“On behalf of CUPS we wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Calgary Stampeder Football Club,” stated Heidi Robideau, the Events Manager with CUPS. “Your commitment to hands-on community service is evident in all that you do by giving back to our great city. We cannot express enough what it means to those Calgarians struggling in our city to attend an event in a month that is known to be bleak after the holidays. It really goes a long way in lifting spirits, making people feel special and important to have dinner with Stampeder players.”
In addition to the great food graciously provided by the Hyatt Regency Calgary, there was a bountiful supply of winter-related items such as gloves, scarves, toques and warm socks to help keep the attendees warm during our cold Alberta winters. A generous collection of personal products such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrushes and hand sanitizers was also available to the individuals and families in need.
The night was made even more special with the inclusion of the New West Symphony & Chorus, a choir group with a strong collection of talented instrument players who belted out heart-warming Christmas carols for everyone in attendance.
The Calgary Stampeders have a rich history in supporting events with CUPS. Another significant event is the ‘CUPS/Stampeders Kickoff Breakfast’ which is traditionally held each May at the aforementioned Hyatt Regency Calgary. The event is a solid fundraiser for CUPS and is often the unofficial kickoff event to the upcoming Stampeders football season.