Holiday Luncheon at Brandon University raises $2800 for Christmas Cheer

Three women pose with an oversize novelty cheque.
Lynda Nay-Kamann and Mieke Bartlette accept a novelty cheque for $2800 from BU's Melanie Sucha.

Brandon University’s annual staff and faculty Holiday Luncheon netted a $2800 donation to Brandon–Westman Christmas Cheer today. Since the tradition began nine years ago, the Holiday Luncheon has raised a total of $29,668 for Christmas Cheer.

To help raise funds, departments across campus assemble large gift baskets, often themed, which are raffled off at the luncheon. There is also a 50/50 draw, and a food drive for the Samaritan House.

Representatives from Christmas Cheer attended the lunch and posed with an oversized cheque representing the donation amount. They told the crowd that they had just finished putting together this year’s hampers this morning — 1100 of them, with another 350 adopted by others in the community.

Basket raffle winners were:

  • Brunch Basket — Lesley Simon
  • Mystery Holiday Magic — Rosanne Gasse
  • Gift Card Basket — Kerrie Binions
  • Italian Dinner Party Basket – Meghan Lamontagne
  • Holiday Baking Basket — Maureen Cesmystruck
  • Movie Magic Basket — Sara Grona
  • Stay-Cation — Chris Hurst
  • Charcuterie Basket — Melanie Sucha
  • Money Tree — Terry McMaster
  • Creative Ways to Balance The Budget — Sean Taron
  • Charlie Brown’s Best Christmas — Karen Skinner
  • A Cozy Winter’s Day — Charlene Potter
  • Mystery Box — Allison Noto

For those curious, the Mystery Box contained games, servingware, décor and wine.

A big crew helps put on the Holiday Luncheon. This year, it was led by Melanie Sucha, while Becky Lane, Terry McMaster, Bobbi White and Joyce Burba did much of the planning, logistics, and coordinating of the fundraising elements of the event.

The Library Team helped substantially with basket raffle and luncheon ticket sales, as well as centerpieces, and many other event details. This includes Tanya Cantlon, Onoria John, Sarah Kienas, Rob Kowaluk, Donna Lowe, Natasha Ofwono, Marian Ramage, Jennifer Webber, Jill Lougheed, Adam Goudy, Kirsten Bambridge, Angela Revet, Jill Warsaba, Laura Jacyna, Rainer Schira, Stacey Lee.

The IT Services team contributed to event advertising, ticket and poster designs, and making arrangements for printing. Thanks to Joe Baumgartner, Kevin Klassen, Asit Patel, Ibrahim Wasiudeen for this. Thanks also to Tanya Joice, who contributed to decorations, advertising, and arrangements with Samaritan House.

The tabletop quiz was designed by BU Quizmaster, Chris Hurst.

The Holiday Luncheon was emceed by Nick Brown, Susie McPherson-Derendy provided an opening prayer, and President David Docherty brought greetings on behalf of the entire university.

Allison Noto and the Finance team assisted with support with raffle licensing and management of floats. The President’s Office, including Louise Moss and Melanie Smoke-Budach, also supported the event, including contributing budget to offset luncheon prices.

Thanks to JD Braid, Robyn Long and the Food Services Team for hosting the space and providing a delicious meal.

Live music was provided from the BU School of Music, including students Dane Neufeld, Shelby English, Esteban Seunarine, and Janina Macalalad, with BU Dean of Music Greg Gatien on sax.

Door prizes were provided by Chez Angela.


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