The team of Turkey Drive volunteers from 2018 take a break from the action for a photo. Black Press file photo.

Chamber Turkey Drive officially underway

Members of the public can pledge donations on Thursday, Dec. 5 to support Christmas hamper programs

The annual Turkey Drive is now underway and set to culminate on Thursday, Dec. 5.

Organizers have set a goal of raising $50,000 which will be split between the Salvation Army and the Cranbrook Food Bank for their Christmas Hamper initiatives over the holiday season.

Chris Andrews, with Wildstone Golf Course, helped Jason Wheeldon launch the fundraising drive with a $1,000 donation during a Chamber of Commerce event last week.

The Turkey Drive, now in its 10th year, consists of a volunteer team of local celebrities and community leaders who collect pledges for a charitable cause that has raised nearly half a million dollars over the last decade.

Members of the public can phone the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce office on Dec. 5th and pledge a turkey donation. Each turkey translates into a $20 donation.

“The Salvation Army and the Cranbrook Food bank give assistance year-round to those in our community, and our Turkey Drive allows them to focus on what they do best: helping individuals and families in our community,” said Wheeldon, returning Chief Turkey. “The Turkey Drive funds a large portion of the Christmas Hamper programs for both organizations, and if they hit this year’s target, we will close in on raising close to half a million dollars for these organizations since the inception of the Turkey Drive.”

It all started when a local community agency put out a call for help with their hamper programs in 2009. Within four hours, Chamber staff and members had banded together to fundraise and meet that need.

“The Chamber is more than just an organization that represents the business community; it is an organization that strives for a healthy community and is proud to partner with the Salvation Army , Cranbrook Food Bank and the many dedicated volunteers that dedicate their resources and time to meeting the needs of our community,” said Jason Fast, President of the Chamber. “We are excited, as a Board, to host this year’s Turkey Drive and help two outstanding agencies deliver the services over the holiday season.”

The pledge team of ‘Little Pluckers’ joining Wheeldon this year include some recognizable names and faces, such as:

• Nathan Lieuwen – Cranbrook Bucks

• Brent Jossy – Scotiabank team

• Josh Lowden and Chad Jensen – New Dawn Developments

• Sean Campbell – Community Futures

• John Salomon

• Tom Shypitka – Kootenay East MLA

• Chris Botterilll – Genex Marketing

• John Hudak – City of Cranbrook councillor

• Karin Penner (affectionately known as the Turkey Drive’s ‘Mother Plucker’)

Penner is consistently the top fundraiser and currently holds the coveted Turkey Platter — the award handed out to the celebrity fundraiser that raises the most donations.

“To me, the true meaning of Christmas is to show love and take care of our neighbour, and the Turkey Drive fulfills that need for Cranbrook and overwhelmingly so,” said Karin Penner, who has been involved since the very beginning and has been lovingly dubbed the Mother Plucker.

Community members can phone the Chamber of Commerce at 250-426-5914 on Thursday, Dec. 5th, and make their pledge. Payment options vary, with credit card, invoicing, personal cheques and a new online feature available through the Chamber’s website.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

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

When it’s too dangerous to sing

It’s easier to imagine a world without birdsong than a world without choirs

Birthday wishes come true as Kimberley girl reunited with her cat

Cat was missing for a month, reunited with owners because SPCA was able to trace microchip

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Cranbrook Bucks add veteran blueliner to defensive corps

A veteran blueliner has joined the Cranbrook Bucks defensive corps. Carson Kurylo… Continue reading

Conservation officers rescue elk calf, take it to wildlife rehab centre

Members with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service recently rescued a dehydrated and… Continue reading

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read