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Hants County schools benefit from winning Sobeys' Star of Christmas video competition

Employees of Sobeys' Windsor location joined with elementary school representatives as store manager Darryl Wilson presented Kyle Dunlop, the music teacher at Brooklyn Elementary School, with cheques for seven elementary school breakfast programs April 14. The store won the 2017 Star of Christmas Sing-Along Contest.
Employees of Sobeys' Windsor location joined with elementary school representatives as store manager Darryl Wilson presented Kyle Dunlop, the music teacher at Brooklyn Elementary School, with cheques for seven elementary school breakfast programs April 14. The store won the 2017 Star of Christmas Sing-Along Contest. - Carole Morris-Underhill

WINDSOR, N.S. — Christmas came early for the breakfast program at several Hants County schools this week.

Sobeys manager Darryl Wilson invited representatives from area elementary schools to the Windsor store for a special cheque presentation on April 14.

The funding came about through “an internal contest through Sobeys where we were able to get the community together and sing the Star of Christmas,” said Wilson explaining how the donation came about.

Sobeys launched its Star of Christmas commercial in the late 1980s. It aired every holiday season until the early 1990s.

Last year, all Sobeys and Foodland locations in Atlantic Canada were challenged to produce a modern video featuring community members singing the iconic Star of Christmas jingle. The participating stores then uploaded the videos and people cast votes from Nov. 30 to Dec. 13, 2017 for the Star of Christmas Sing-Along Contest.

“Everybody felt a warm spot in their chest with that song and still do,” said Wilson.

Students from Brooklyn Elementary School, under the musical direction of Kyle Dunlop, plus participants from New Boundaries and employees of Sobeys lent their voices on the day of the video shoot. Jim Ivey (video), Tim Reid (video), Mike Jamieson (sound), Kirby Collins (bass), and Sarah Frank (guitar) also volunteered their talents on Nov. 25, 2017.

“When the video happened, we had a whole stage set up. The crew here brought their guitars out, we had a sound system, I taught the kids the song, we sang it, took the video,” said Dunlop.

“Honestly, it was the parents that won it for us. They're the ones that came out, brought their kids, and voted for us day after day after day.”

The Windsor video received the most likes online in the Province of Nova Scotia, which meant they were awarded $5,000.

Dunlop said he discussed the funding with then-store manager Jeff Cross and it was decided it would be split amongst seven area schools: Brooklyn, Dr. Arthur Hines, Falmouth, Hantsport, Three Mile Plains, Windsor, and Windsor Forks.

“I just want to say thank you to Sobeys for putting the contest on and thank you to the parents for voting for us. It's invaluable to get stuff like this in our school system,” said Dunlop.

The Brooklyn music teacher said the breakfast program serves as an important start to a student's day.

“It's going to buy bananas, cereal, fruit — healthy foods that we're trying to get out to the schools and get the kids eating. Sometimes they come a little hungry,” said Dunlop.

“A full belly helps a full mind.”

Wilson, who transferred to Windsor about two weeks ago but hails from Hants County, said he's hoping to be able to give back to the community even more in the months and years to come.

“I'm looking forward to doing a lot more of it — definitely a lot more of it.”

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