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Hundreds turn out for Citytv’s annual Spirit of the Season party

BT hosts Kevin Frankish and Dina Pugliese at Citytv's annual Spirit of the Season party at the Sheraton Centre on Queen Street West, Dec. 21, 2012. BT

Hundreds of people were up before sunrise to celebrate the Christmas season with the Breakfast Television crew at Citytv’s annual Spirit of the Season party.

The Christmas party has taken over the lobby of the Sheraton Centre on Queen Street West where families are celebrating with giveaways, live performances and donations to the Daily Bread Food Bank.

The food bank needs support more than ever. Executive director Gail Nyberg said demand is up again this year.

“This isn’t going away anytime soon,” she said.

By 7:30 a.m. Nyberg said Citytv had collected thousands of dollars in donations. A representative from Walmart later delivered a $30,000 cheque made out to Daily Bread.

Citytv fans who make a contribution to Daily Bread at the Sheraton Centre will be entered into a draw for a trip to New York City. The winner will be revealed later Friday on CityNews at Six.

The BT crew asked followers to tweet using the hashtag #BTChristmas — which was trending on Twitter Friday morning — for a chance to win a seat to BT’s Christmas Eve giveaway show. More than $100,000 in prizes will be handed out.

Singers Suzie McNeil, Dru and Canada’s Got Talent finalist tenor Emilio Fino performed for the crowd.

Rudi Blair broadcast Friday morning’s festivities live on 680News.

And as he does every year, Santa took some time out of his busy schedule to attend the party and hand out some gifts.

“I wouldn’t miss this party for anything, I look forward to it every year,” the big man told the crowd.