Hometown generosity: CBC fundraisers net $504,378 for local charities
2016 Feed a Family, Tree of Hope and Harbour Lights campaigns were smashing successes
Warm-hearted New Brunswickers have brought festive vibes, music, and holiday good cheer to CBC/Radio-Canada offices across the province, making the public broadcaster's big annual fundraising push for local charities a smashing success.
CBC/Radio-Canada has welcomed a regular procession of donors and special guests — from children and pets to pop duos and string quartets. Many more New Brunswickers donated by phone, at local banks, and online.
As a result, CBC New Brunswick Feed a Family, Tree of Hope and Harbour Lights campaigns in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John have raised a combined total of $504,378 for local food banks, meal programs and cancer treatment initiatives.
Donations to Saint John's 20th annual Harbour Lights Campaign were $195,854 when the campaign drew to a close Friday.
"The campaign seems to exceed our expectations every year," said CBC Saint John executive producer Steven Webb.
"It's amazing how people in this community have embraced Harbour Lights. The first year of the campaign in 1997," he said, "we were hoping to raise $10,000."
"Here we are 20 years later and we're likely going to surpass $200,000. Really astonishing."
This year's campaign launched Nov. 28 at NBCC Saint Andrews, with road show stops in St. Andrews, St. Stephen, Sussex, Hampton, Rothesay, Grand Bay-Westfield, St. Martins and St. George.
The annual Information Morning Saint John live show at the City Market netted $52,433 in donations in a single morning.
Every year for Harbour Lights, Port Saint John installs a massive Christmas tree strung with thousands of lights near the Saint John harbour. For each $2 donation, a bulb on the tree is lit.
The star at the top is illuminated when the financial goal of $50,000 is met.
That star was lit on Dec. 7.
Tree of Hope
In Moncton, the 2016 Tree of Hope campaign raised $186,814 for projects directly benefiting New Brunswick families affected by cancer.
Schools, community groups, businesses and many other organizations and institutions have dedicated time and money to support local oncology services.
The Tree of Hope campaign has funded projects including the construction and expansion of the Mgr. Henri-Cormier Lodge, purchase of a linear accelerator to reduce wait times for radiotherapy treatments, as well as digital mammography equipment for screening breast cancer.
All of the money raised stays in New Brunswick.
Since its inception, the campaign has raised close to $24 million.
Feed a Family
This year's Feed a Family campaign in Fredericton exceeded its target by more than $10,000, raising $121,710 for local families who would otherwise be unable to afford a holiday meal.
The campaign kicked off this year with a live Information Morning Fredericton show from Greener Village in Fredericton on Fri., Nov. 25.
CBC Fredericton hosted a festive film series at the Playhouse that included screenings of Elf, both versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Polar Express. A silent auction at the invited people to bid on a range of items including hockey-themed gift baskets and a chocolate-lover's gift package.
The campaign wrapped up with CBC Fredericton's annual morning show Open House at the Fredericton studio.
The funds raised will provide meals to nearly 3,000 families across the region.