In November and December, The Salvation Army’s Hope in the City events unfolded across the Canada and Bermuda Territory, setting the stage for the Christmas season and celebrating the launch of the annual kettle campaign.

Former NHL player Georges Laraque makes the first donation at Hope in the City Edmonton with Lt-Col Brian Venables, DC, Alta. & N.T. Div (left), and Mjr Al Hoeft (right)

In Calgary, the Hope in the City luncheon featured special guest Ron MacLean, host of Hockey Night in Canada, who shared his passion for hockey with attendees. With a campaign goal of $750,000, all funds raised through the kettle campaign support year-round programs and services in Calgary, including ESL classes, summer camps, toy hampers, school supplies and more. In keeping with the hockey theme, the Hope in the City event in Edmonton welcomed former Edmonton Oiler Georges Laraque as a special guest.

From left, Gerry Wood, Calgary Advisory Board member; Megan Wood; Ron MacLean; Manni Fink-Fraser; and Elaine Wood at Hope in the City Calgary

Nearly 1,000 people attended Vancouver’s Hope in the City breakfast, which was hosted by award-winning journalist and Global News anchor, Sophie Lui, who actively supports The Salvation Army’s mission. Last year, Lui participated in the Nine Stories of Hope capital campaign, HERstory of Hope, in support of women living with addiction.

In Winnipeg, guest speaker Joe Roberts, also known as the “Skid Row CEO,” shared his powerful journey from homelessness and addiction to becoming a successful entrepreneur. The Hope in the City breakfast united Salvationists, community leaders and supporters to kick off the Christmas kettle campaign with a fundraising goal of $300,000 to support programs such as Christmas assistance, meal programs and emergency food distribution. Other guests included Pinaymootang First Nation Elder Robert R. McLean, Manitoba Lt.-Gov. Anita Neville, ministers and members of the provincial legislature, Winnipeg city councillors and Mayor Scott Gillingham.

“The Salvation Army is thrilled that there was such strong support for this year’s Hope in the City events in the Prairies. They were a great launch to our Christmas season and an ongoing reminder of the wonderful partnerships we have as we work to fulfil our mission in these communities,” says Major Al Hoeft, divisional secretary for public relations, Prairie Division and Alberta and Northern Territories Division.

Joe Roberts gives The Salvation Army the thumbs up at Hope in the City Winnipeg with Mjr Al Hoeft (middle) and Mayor Scott Gillingham (right)

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