The family especially enjoyed a trip on the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain. (Photo submitted)

The family especially enjoyed a trip on the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain. (Photo submitted)

Canim Lake family wins ‘trip of a lifetime’

Lenora and Frank Christopher took their grandchildren to Banff this month

For the price of a cup of coffee, Lenora Christopher was able to take her entire family on a trip to the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

The Canim Lake Band Elder and band clerk for social development was having a cup of coffee and some chili and bread outside Tim Hortons earlier this year during the company’s spring Roll Up the Rim to Win promotion. When she flipped the rim of her cup, she couldn’t believe it: she was the grand winner of $5,000 trip-for-two, good for any Fairmont Hotel location.

“I was just hollering and screaming by myself in the car and I couldn’t get a hold of anyone,” she said.

READ MORE: Tim Hortons trims rim from iconic contest with all-digital ‘Roll Up to Win’

Her husband Frank, one of the band’s housing maintenance workers, was at work so she called one of her coworkers at the Canim Lake Band to share the news. When Frank found out, he initially thought Lenora was joking but when he realized she wasn’t, the couple started planning their trip – the first they’ve taken in two years.

They chose Banff because of its beauty and isolation.

“We love to travel, any chance we get we go to different parts of Canada and the world,” Frank said. “I love seeing the scenery and vastness of our country and the beauty of everything around us from the rivers to the mountains.”

The couple, who are raising their grandchildren, Jay-Lee Meldrum-Dick and Bluebird Woman Dick, decided to bring them along and pay for their accommodation. However, at the last minute, Tim Hortons stepped in to cover the children as well, which the Franks said they appreciated.

The family stayed in the five-star Banff Springs Hotel from Oct. 15-17 and had access to valet service, indoor and outdoor pools and restaurants.

“Both the grandbabies asked when we got there ‘is this how the rich live?’” Lenora laughed. “I told them yes.”

The four of them settled in and toured the area, before taking in a Banff Gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Frank said the weather was perfect, with clear blue skies giving them breathtaking views. The grandchildren also loved it, but Lenora was less enthusiastic as she doesn’t like heights.

Over the weekend, they also visited the Columbia Icefields, went on a Bow Valley wildlife tour and did some Christmas shopping in downtown Banff. Lenora said the trip included a $250 gift card and with many of the shops currently offering winter sales, she got a lot of presents for her relatives.

“Usually when we travel we just pass through areas but to take time to actually see everything and just enjoy it was really nice,” Frank said. “We both work, work and work and this was our first holiday since I don’t know when.”

Lenora said she loves Tim Hortons coffee and while she had previously experienced small wins in the Roll Up the Rim to Win campaign, this was was the “trip of a lifetime.”

Now that they’re back home, the couple said they intend to keep going to Tim Horton’s for coffee and Timbits.

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