Chamber turkey drive runs Thursday

The annual Chamber of Commerce turkey drive will be underway on Thursday, Dec. 4.

For the Townsman

The annual Chamber of Commerce turkey drive will be underway on Thursday, Dec. 4.

This is the fourth year for this fundraiser that provides financial support to both the Salvation Army and the Cranbrook Food Bank’s Christmas Hamper program. The Cranbrook & District Chamber of Commerce hopes to raise over $25,000 this year to support these two great organizations.

The Chief Turkey Chair (CTC) is Jason Wheeldon, who spearheaded the original event, and is back at the helm with his co-chair Warren Bedell and several of their Jr. Poults who have been out in the community this past couple of weeks driving pre-pledges from local business and residents. Our Guest Celebrity program this year has several residents helping out including Nella Rounsville, Denise Pallesen, Heather Smith, Lona Williams, Micheil Hardy, Chris Thom, Tom Shypitka and Liz Chaney seeking pledges for a Turkey.

“There is definitely a rivalry brewing from our celebrity pledgers who want to make sure the need in our community is fulfilled and also to be the top pledge earner,” Wheeldon said.

Last year Nella Rounsville won the friendly competition and this year there is heated competition.

The Turkey Drive concept is simple, residents of the community can pledge a turkey (a donation of $20). The Chamber of Commerce will collect the pledges and remit the proceeds to the Salvation Army and the Food Bank as the revenues are collected. The revenues received will be utilized by the organizations to prepare the Christmas Hampers. The community is invited to take part in the one day drive on Thursday, Dec. 4, by listening to the Drive FM and calling into the Chamber of Commerce 250-426-5914 to pledge their donation.

Captain Kirk Green of the Salvation Army will be on hand during the one day event and “thanks the Community for their past support” and hopes to see this year’s turkey drive rally as the need in our community is still there.

Between the Cranbrook Food Bank and the Salvation Army over 750 Christmas hampers will be prepared for residents and families in our community. The hampers include more than just a turkey but all of the accessories and meal accompaniment’s to ensure a festive family dinner for all in our community.

Last year over $27,000 was raised which set a new record for the Turkey Drive and this year the organizers want to set a new record.

“This Fundraiser is definitely near and dear to Karin (Penner’s) heart and this is her last year with the Chamber and we want to send her out with a bang,” said Cathy Bauer one of the Chamber staff who administers the pledge drive.

The Turkey Drive got its start when Penner, Wheeldon and friends found out there was a shortage in the community and that some families would not be receiving Christmas Hampers. Employing the Chamber of Commerce network volunteers and chamber staff phone lines were lit up and the need in our community was fulfilled within 5 hours. The Turkey Drive continues to this day because the need in our community is still there.

The Chamber invites the entire community on Thursday December 4 to pledge their support with a Turkey Pledge by phoning 250-426-5914.