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Chamber Turkey Drive benefits Salvation Army and Food BankPosted: December 16, 2011

The Cranbrook Food Bank and Salvation Army each received $8,000 from the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce’s annual Turkey Drive.

Turkey Drive co-chair Jason Wheeldon (pictured above at a different event) announced Dec. 14 during the chamber’s December luncheon that they “exceeded” their goal of 675 turkeys and presented cheques of $8,000 to Captain Kirk Green of the Salvation Army and Jackie Jensen of the Cranbrook Food Bank.

“It’s an exceptional example of our community spirit,” Wheeldon said, pulling on a turkey hat.

He highlighted two donors, including an 18-year-old lass who gave 18 turkeys – “one for every meal she has enjoyed” and Eagle Homes, which donated $1,500.

“We hope this alleviates some of the pressures,” Wheeldon said while presenting the cheques.

“This is a blessing,” said an emotional Capt. Green. “Both of our organizations help a lot of the same people all of the time,” he said, adding the help is needed more now than ever before.

“We’ve noticed about a 25% increase in the working poor and a significant increase in those who have never used the service before,” he said.

“This is an enormous help for the Food Bank,” said Jensen, noting that about 400 to 450 hampers are expected to be given out and she reminded people that the final day for residents to collect a hamper is Dec. 23.

“It’s nice to know that we are helping out these less fortunate than ourselves. I’m proud to be involved in this community,” she said.

Outgoing Chamber President Sean Campbell expressed “sincere appreciation” to Jason Wheeldon and Warren Bidell, who co-chaired the drive. “Thank you to everyone who made the Turkey Drive a success.”

The Food Bank’s coffers have received recent injections thanks to the $4,000 from the CPR Holiday Train and $2,775.50 raised by JCI Kootenay during the annual Santa Claus Parade in Cranbrook.

Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

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