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Calm Air brings annual Christmas event to Repulse

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Repulse Bay (Dec 20/06) - The annual Calm Air Christmas feast was served up in Repulse Bay for the first time earlier this month.

This year's feast was held for students, staff and volunteers at Tusarvik school.
NNSL Photo/graphic

Kenneth Katokra, Stanley Kopak, Jake Kringayark and Henry Crawford, from left, get ready to be served at the Calm Air Christmas feast at Tusarvik school in Repulse Bay earlier this month. - photo courtesy of Leonie Aissaoui

Calm Air began the Christmas feast in 2002, flying to a school in a different hamlet each holiday season.

Arviat is scheduled to host the 2007 feast and Rankin Inlet the 2008 event.

Calm Air vice-president of marketing and sales Rebecca Condon was one of five airline representatives at this year's dinner.

Condon said Arviat and Rankin are the last two in the rotation simply because they have the most kids.

She said airline employees have been gaining experience with the meal in the smaller communities before tackling the largest student bodies in Arviat and Rankin.

"The reception we received in Repulse was absolutely wonderful," said Condon.

"The turkeys are readied in the community before we fly in with the rest of the food and cook it all up on the morning of the feast.

"It's not just a big dinner. There are always other activities going on and it turns into a really great time.

"We played a lot of games this year, had draws and sang Christmas carols."

Condon estimates about 350 people were served dinner in Repulse.

She said the event helps raise community spirit as the holidays draw near.

"It's also a way for Calm Air to give something back to a community that supports it each year.

"It's a neat thing to do for the kids at Christmas."

Condon said there's no shortage of employees willing to take part in the feast.

She said even a number of department managers have made the trip.

"We sort of pick and choose among the people who have a bit of free time to make the trip every year.

"We're all ready looking ahead to Arviat and how we're going to feed that many kids in a fun and effective manner.

"Arviat and Rankin will be our biggest challenges, and may have to be two-day events.

"But, I'm sure we'll work something out with the schools involved."