In the 60’s and early 70’s, CKBB Radio received dozens of calls from charities looking for food and toy donations to give to those in need over the Christmas Holidays. General Manager of the station, Wayne Bjorgan saw a need for a coordinated effort amongst all the charities in the region. He created the “Christmas Cheer” name and dedicated a room at CKBB for 1974’s first 35 families to apply and receive.
In time, demand increased for this fledgling organization and it was time for new partnerships to be made. Barrie Minstrel Association’s Ernie Nullmeyer saw the opportunity to create a community around this organization and rose to lead Christmas Cheer. Over the next 28 years, Ernie oversaw 3 moves from CKBB Radio to the Army Navy Air Force building, to the Barrie Armouries and finally to the Barrie Event Centre. Under his leadership, Christmas Cheer grew from 35 families to 1100 families in the Barrie Area. It was only natural that Ernie became known as “Mr. Christmas”.
When demand increases, so does the demand for supplies. President of Moore Packaging and Principal of PBM Realty, Peter Moore decided to help Christmas Cheer by using both businesses to support the demand. Since 2001, Moore Packaging has produced and donated thousands and thousands of cardboard boxes for distribution of our Christmas packages. Peter supported Christmas Cheer during yet another move in 2011 when PBM Realty donated thousands of square feet of space for which to perform this annual miracle. He insured that by 2013, Christmas Cheer would have a permanent, year-round home free of charge in the 17,000-square foot facility of which we currently reside. Generosity knows no limits with the man we lovingly call “Saint Peter”.
Christmas Cheer has continued to grow as we now cater to nearly 2800 families in the Barrie and Area that are in need over the Christmas Season.