Chamber Turkey Drive hits fundraising goal of $50K

Money will be split between Cranbrook Food Bank and Salvation Army Christmas hamper programs

The Chamber of Commerce Turkey Drive raised $50,381 that will be split between the Cranbrook Food Bank and Salvation Army for their Christmas hamper programs, announced organizers on Wednesday.

Major Ginny Kristensen and Nancy Lemire, representing the Salvation Army, and Gerry Oviatt, with the Cranbrook Food Bank Society, accepted the donations on behalf of their organizations during a monthly Chamber of Commerce meeting.

“I just like to thank the community here for the generosity that’s shown up in this Turkey Drive and it’s just been such a supportive community for us to carry on our duties and help the people who are less fortunate than we are, so thank you very much,” said Oviatt.

Major Kristensen reminisced about garnering support for the first Turkey Drive many years ago and the immediate response she got from the community.

“I’m totally overwhelmed at how rapidly this community will respond to a cry for help and how you’ve carried it on,” Kristensen said. “…that goes so far to helping our friends, who — through no fault of their own — are in that position of needing some help at Christmas.”

Turkey Drive donations were collected by a dedicated volunteer team of, ahem, “Little Pluckers” that included Nathan Lieuwen (Cranbrook Bucks), Brent Jossy (Scotiabank) Josh Lowden and Chad Jensen (New Dawn Developments), Sean Campbell (Community Futures), John Solomon, Tom Shypitka (Kootenay East MLA), Chris Botterill (Genex Marketing), John Hudak (city councillor), Karin Penner.

Penner, who has been lovingly dubbed the “Mother Plucker” by the volunteer team, once again was the top fundraiser, single-handedly raising $17,533 to keep the coveted Turkey Platter.

All told, since the inception of the Turkey Drive, the community has raised over half a million dollars, according to Jason Wheeldon.

It’s not just the corporate donations that move the fundraising needle, but also a groundswell of small individual ones, that help the Turkey Drive reach new fundraising heights.

“From the teenagers coming in with their $20 bills right up to the biggest donations, it’s a community collective effort,” said Wheeldon.

Next year will be a bit of a changing of the guard, as some longtime Turkey Drive volunteers are set to retire to clear the way for ushering in a younger generation of organizers.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cranbrook Bucks add two more players to growing roster

A forward and a goaltender have committed to the newest BCHL franchise for next season

EKASS still providing help to those dealing with substance use amid COVID-19

With COVID-19 dominating headlines it can be easy to forget about other… Continue reading

Veterinary clinics considered essential services, continue to help animals

The B.C. government recently released an official list of businesses that are… Continue reading

Travelling couple in self-isolation in Cranbrook grateful for friends’ support

Bob and Wanda Diachuk got back from Mexico and are in quarantine in Mt. Baker RV park

Taking care of your mental health during COVID-19

Ways to cope with anxiety, stress and fear during these uncertain times.

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Apartments evacuated during police stand-off

The incident occurred at Grand Forks apartment building on March 28

Most Read