Another successful night for the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train.
Making its way into the Friendly City for the 13th year, the train helped the Moose Jaw and District Food Bank raise more than 5,390 pounds of food donations, which is incredible said Terri Smith, of the food bank.
“I think this is one of the biggest crowds we have ever seen,” said Smith. I am so happy with the turn-out I can’t really even put it into words.”
Although she believes weather may have played a small factor in the evenings success, Smith said even when the temperatures are dipping as low as -20 C and -30 C, Moose Javians have a way of coming through for the food bank.
As for what Smith feels is so special about the event? She said not only does it bring awareness to the hunger issues in the city, but teaches children that hunger can affect anyone, not just those who are living on the streets or in a shelter.
“Hunger can affect your neighbour, friends and even family.”
On the other side of the coin, Smith said the event is also a great way to kick off the holiday season and get everyone in the mood for Christmas.
One little man who was thrilled to be at Tuesday night’s show was Leighton Tollefson.
Tollefson said he didn’t even know the train was his final destination for the night until he got there. He said it was a total surprise, “but an awesome one.”
The seven-year-old said he was so excited when he found out he was going to see the train he couldn’t wait to get out of the car and was even more impressed once the train pulled into the yard.
“It was even better than I imagined it would be. My favourite part was the front.”
Tollefson said besides his friends that were at the celebration with their families, he can’t wait to go to school tomorrow and tell everyone about his night.
“It was way to cool.”
Mellissa Murray, a member of CP Rail’s communication team, said it is reactions like Tollefsons’ that make the entire trip across Canada and the U.S. worth it.
“I just love the reaction we get from the crowd as the stage door opens. There really are no words to describe how amazing it is.”