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Feast comes full circle

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, December 22, 2010

CORAL HARBOUR - One of the biggest Kivalliq Christmas turkeys came back to roost in Coral Harbour earlier this month.

Calm Air began its annual Christmas feast in Coral eight years ago. And, after taking the event to every Kivalliq community, airline staff members returned to Coral to deliver what has now become a regional tradition.

NNSL photo/graphic

Calm Air marketing assistant Tanya Dnistransky presents a gift to Dakota Pameolik in Coral Harbour earlier this month as part of the airline's annual Christmas feast in the Kivalliq. - photo courtesy of Gerald Kuehl

It took 20 turkeys to feed the more than 350 children, school staff members and community leaders who attended the event.

The airline also held a draw at the end of the feast and gave Christmas gifts to dozens of smiling young faces.

The man who's become king of the potato masher, Calm Air's John Friess, said the event is something the airline looks forward to every year.

"After putting on seven Christmas dinners in Kivalliq communities, we're like a well-oiled machine," said Friess.

"We pretty well have the procedure down, and it's a lot of fun for our turkey crew."

Sakku principal Graham Butler said the event went extremely well.

He said he was very impressed with how well the feast was organized, and by how well the hundreds of kids behaved during the event.

"The feast was very well done and even the green and red tablecloths gave everything a nice festive look," said Butler.

"The gifts at the end really had the kids pumped, and it's great to see that kind of corporate citizenship from Calm Air."

Butler said Santa Claus may have put in a good word to Mother Nature about the feast.

He said a blizzard held off just long enough for the event to be held.

"We had the kids come around 10 a.m., which gave Calm Air and school staff members time to have the feast ready to go by 10:30 a.m.," said Butler.

"As soon as the feast was over, the blizzard hit and we had to close the school and send the kids home.

"Calm Air left the utensils it brought and they'll be put to good use at our school breakfast program.

"The airline also donated five turkeys for our Christmas elders feast and everyone appreciated that gesture."

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