Red Deer’s first Christmas Wish Breakfast overwhelmed by community support, gifts

Hundreds donate toys, gift cards and money

Though breakfast wasn’t served until 8 a.m., the first people showed up to the Christmas Wish Breakfast 45 minutes early.

By 9 a.m. Sunday, the line was out the door of the Black Knight Inn with scores of Red Deer residents gifts in hand, ready to donate a toy and grab some bacon and eggs.

The first, and hopefully annual if committee chair Lynn Iviney gets her way, Christmas Wish Breakfast got off to a hot start with hundreds of donated toys greeting hungry people as they entered the building.

“Look at this room,” said Iviney, pointing out how packed and busy it was Sunday morning. “People have left already.”

The toys, as well as gift cards and cash, will be given to children in Red Deer to ensure they have something to unwrap Christmas morning.

Being a first attempt, organizers didn’t quite know what to expect turnout wise. Iviney and committee member Kelly Makinson both said they had anticipated a rush at 10 a.m., but had not expected it to be as busy as it was.

“This is insane,” said Makinson. “We had no idea in the first hour we would get this many toys and this many people.”

Iviney said they had received close to 1,000 gifts in total this season, this included ones already donated to fire stations and the ones brought Sunday morning in exchange for breakfast.

The breakfast is similar to one run in Vancouver where Iviney used to live. She wanted to bring the event to Red Deer and one Sunday in April she was at the Black Knight Inn and walked into Ken Mandrusiak’s office to pitch the idea. Mandrusiak, the president of the Black Knight Inn was receptive.

“It just took a life of its own,” said Iviney as sponsors including Stantec, the Advocate and Kraze radio station all joined in supporting the event.

“Everyone I approached for this, nobody said no.”

For Iviney it also has some personal resonance. She remembers being told the family didn’t have money for Christmas, especially after her father died when she was a child.

“That feeling doesn’t leave you,” she said. “I wanted to make sure that never happens and it happens all the time. I made a pledge to (Red Deer City) Coun. Buck Buchanan that every child in Red Deer will have a gift this Christmas.”

Just Posted

Olympic ski run designer creates upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort

Jeff Ihaksi says free-style and alpine ski venues are Canada Winter Games-worthy

Updated: Collision expert backs version of crash of driver accused of manslaughter

Daniel Newsham accused of manslaughter in fatal 2016 collision

Red Deer artist highlights the dinosaur connection of Alberta birds

Jeff Powers is fascinated by winged creatures

Murder charges laid against woman from the Sunchild First Nation

The 25-year-old female victim was found dead on Dec. 12

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

McDavid, Draisaitl with three points each to lead Oiles over Flyers

Oilers 4, Flyers 1 EDMONTON — Connor McDavid had two goals and… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

WHL’s Thunderbirds, Silvertips open to NHL joining Seattle hockey market

TORONTO — The Seattle area’s major junior hockey teams aren’t worried about… Continue reading

Canadian freestyle skier Karker excited for Dew Tour’s modified superpipe

Rachael Karker has a renewed sense of confidence heading into her second… Continue reading

CBS settled with Dushku over ‘Bull’ star’s sexual comments

LOS ANGELES — CBS reached a $9.5 million confidential settlement last year… Continue reading

Kanye reignites Drake feud on Twitter, alleges threats

LOS ANGELES — Kanye West is not sending Christmas cheer to Drake.… Continue reading

Councillors in Toronto, Ottawa vote to allow retail cannabis stores

TORONTO — Councillors in Toronto have voted to allow retail pot shops… Continue reading

Most Read