Kai Madsen, who spent decades on Winnipeg Christmas Cheer Board, has died

Former Christmas Cheer Board executive director Kai Madsen is pictured in an under image. Madsen passed away on Tuesday at the age of 80. (File Image)

Kai Madsen, who spent more than five decades working with the Winnipeg Christmas Cheer Board, has died at the age of 80.

CTV News Winnipeg has learned that Madsen died at home on Tuesday after a long illness.

“On behalf of the Christmas Cheer Board, we are very, very sorry to hear of Kai’s passing,” said Shawna Bell, executive director of the Winnipeg Christmas Cheer Board, in a statement.

“He was the driving force behind the Cheer Board for so long and we will miss him dearly.”

In August, CTV News Winnipeg reported that Madsen retired from his position as executive director of the cheer board.

Under Madsen’s leadership, the cheer board delivered about 17,000 Christmas hampers every year, with the help of donors and volunteers.

Madsen had said he cherished his time with the Winnipeg Christmas Cheer Board and is thankful he could contribute to his community in a meaningful way.

- With files from CTV’s Simon Stones.