This year's 11th Annual Sleighing Hunger Charity Concert performed by The S'Aints at The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor raised a record $102,534 for 16 area food banks in the Windsor Essex Food Bank Association and Chatham Outreach for Hunger. The concert was postponed due to the arrival of a Christmas week winter storm and was held on Thursday, December 29th.
The S'Aints band, Caesars Windsor Cares, and St. Clair College celebrated this year's record-breaking total from this all-ages fundraising concert event on Friday night.
The two-hour live concert of holiday melodies, traditional holiday favourites and songs about peace was well received by those attending on a cold and snowy night.
June Muir, the chief executive of the UHC Hub of Opportunity and president of the Windsor-Essex Food Bank Association, said, "There were 149,000 individuals who were served at local food banks between January 1 and Octoctober 31 this year which was a 16 percent increase from the same period in 2021."
One of the other local food banks supported at the concert is Outreach for Hunger in Chatham-Kent.
Executive director Brenda LeClair said the need is also growing in Chatham-Kent. "I know a great deal of work goes into preparing and organizing by the band, St. Clair College, Caesars Windsor and I just really want everyone to know that this year, probably more than other years, it's very much needed," LeClair said. "We have seen a 20-per-cent increase in the number of families coming to us for service."
St. Clair College President Patti France said the 11th annual concert is a treasured tradition. "The saying goes that it is better to give than to receive, and while that is true, I'm pleased to say that this community-based project has for the past 11 years not required that either-or choice," President France said.
Over the last 11 years, the Sleighing Hunger concert and associated CD sales have raised over $400,000 for local food banks and other social services.
The St. Clair College student food banks at Windsor and Chatham campuses also benefit from this annual concert event.
Those unable to attend the concert can order, download this year's CD, "Imagine No Hunger" or donate at www.sleighinghunger.com.
The S'Aints band members are Jody Raffoul, Jeff Burrows, Wes Buckley, Kelly "Mr. Chill" Hoppe, David Cyrenne, Kelly Authier, Marty Bak, Liz Robinson, Stephanie Baker and Jim O'Neil.