By Barry McDonald
Vol. 14, Issue 50, December 16, 2010 (Leduc-Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer)
People were actually cheering when the train stopped in Wetaskiwin on December 9th. Wetaskiwin is a City that garners a huge share of grumbles when trains are stopped as they frequently delay the citizens from getting to their destinations.
But this train was different. It was beautifully decorated and rolled into town in the midst a ‘postcard’ winter setting of gently falling snow. Soon a stage opened up in the side of one of the box cars and following greetings from Mayor Elliott and CP made a $1000 donation to the Salvation Army Food Bank. The band entertained, the Salvation Army collected food and donations and ATB made sure everyone stayed warm with complimentary hot chocolate and cookies.
This is the 12th year that the Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train has been raising food, money and awareness for food banks in communities across Canada and the U.S. In December, 1999, CP began running a freight train decorated with thousands of Christmas lights across Canada, to raise awareness of the issue of hunger prevalent in all communities. In 2001, CP launched a second Holiday Train in the United States.
The goal of the Holiday Train is to collect food and money for local food banks and to raise awareness in the fight against hunger. At each event, the Holiday Train provides a box car stage, a line up of great musical talents and a corporate contribution to the local food bank. The community, in turn, is encouraged to donate food and funds, all of which stays in the community.
This was another successful event enjoyed by the citizens of Wetaskiwin.