Steve Zsillei announces the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce's Turkey Drive fundraising total of $75,000 during a chamber event on Wednesday at the Cranbrook Golf Club. Trevor Crawley photo.

Chamber Turkey Drive campaign raises $75,000 for Christmas hamper programs

The Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce Turkey Drive smashed it’s fundraising goal once again, collecting $75,000 in donations from the community that will go towards the Salvation Army and Cranbrook Food Bank Christmas Hamper programs.

Steve Zsillei, the “Chief Turkey” of the fundraising drive, announced the results during a Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce event on Wednesday at the Cranbrook Golf Club.

“This year is not an easy year for a lot of people but you guys came through once again,” said Zsillei, in thanking the community for stepping up their donations.

Leading a team of ‘Little Pluckers,” the the group leading the fundraising drive blew past it’s goal of $60,000, after some initial trepidation at the start of the four-week campaign.

At the halfway mark of the campaign, approximately $12,000 had been raised, according to Zsillei.

“So with two weeks left, the total was constantly climbing, all these great people from the community were coming out and donating,” Zsillei said.

Kaytee Sharun was recognized as the, ahem, “Mother Plucker” — who raised the most pledges out of the Little Plucker team.

In the last three years, the Chamber Turkey Drive has raised $270,000, while that tally climbs to over $500,000 dating back nine years.