On Sunday, December 24th, 2017, Sons of Italy held our 12th annual Christmas Eve Feast for approximately 600 people from Winnipeg's West End.
Working in conjunction with our partners X-Cues Billiards and Café, Sorrento’s on Ellice,West End BIZ and North West Co/Valu Lots/Giant Tiger, the Feast was our biggest ever! The dinner featured both traditional and Italian favorites and was served at X- Cues, 551 Sargent Avenue. Santa was on hand for the children and there was live music to add to the festive atmosphere
The dinner is a small way to help those in the community who may find this time of year difficult by providing a hot meal, entertainment and company to share it with. For some, it was their first Christmas in Canada and for others it provided their only holiday meal. Along with the plentiful feast provided, everyone left with a gift bag full of treats -- toys for the children and a food hamper and clothing for every adult.
This heartwarming event beautifully demonstrates the spirit of Christmas in the vibrant West End of Winnipeg. Sal Infantino, owner of X-Cues says: “Seeing the appreciation and joy on everyone’s face is the best gift. I can’t imagine doing anything else on Christmas Eve”.
an increasing immigrant community
Event co-chairs Reno Augellone and John Giavedoni from Sons of Italy, say “Christmas is a special time of giving for Italians and we appreciate being able to help the multicultural people in this community.”
As Winnipeg comes together to help support a growing immigrant community, we continue to see our dinner being attended by people new to our city who have arrived from all over the world. We offer to them a festive and hearty meal among new friends.
Gloria Cardwell-Hoeppner, Executive Director of the West End BIZ adds, "For a few hours we can make the holiday a reality for someone, especially the children. On a day they might otherwise feel alone, they are part of a family celebration...I can’t imagine doing anything else on Christmas Eve.”
We are always amazed at the outpouring of generosity by many local businesses that have stepped forward to make this Christmas Eve Feast an annual tradition, and would like to thank and acknowledge the long list of donors -- they make this wonderful event possible -- thank you very much!
A special thank you this year to our newest Event Partner, one who has been so invaluable to the success of our event for many years now, that recognition as an Event Partner was long overdue -- a huge thank you to The North West Company / Valu Lots / Giant Tiger. Valu Lots manager Jamie Bacon has been an angel to us, and this year the support from The North West Company and Giant Tiger grew to an unprecedented level!
A big thank you to the Winnipeg Police Association who provided tremendous support again with the donation of over 200 wrapped and labelled gifts for children. This is a huge bonus for us, and for the kids -- much appreciated! We had two police officers serving food through the event, and cadets were serving hot chocolate to those in line. Amazing support from our police!
We want to thank the many volunteers that are not only on-site the day of the event (see pic below), but those that help with advance set-up, shopping and deliveries - there hard work and dedication at a busy time of year is appreciated beyond what words can express.
Christmas Eve Feast in the media
In addition to the CTV TV news coverage (see above), the event was featured in the Winnipeg Free Press on the Social Page (click for PDF):