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Posted: December 16, 2020

$91,065 raised in annual Turkey Drive

Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce wrapped up its annual Turkey Drive today and this years’ total has far exceeded targets reaching over $91,065 at the conclusion of the annual fundraiser, which was extended to one week this year.

All money raised from the campaign is divided between the Cranbrook Food Bank and Salvation Army. The annual campaign provides necessary funding to extend community food security programs through the holiday season and into the new year.

This year’s event looked a little different than it has in the past. The event, which traditionally takes place over just one day, was extended to a week, with a new online option for donating.

Over 739 individual donors contributed to this year’s drive including a substantial donation of $2,000 in turkeys courtesy of the local Save-On-Foods, a $3,000 donation from Scotia Bank and a $3,250 donation courtesy of Spruce Legal. With the addition of this year’s total, the Turkey Drive has raised over $520,000 since its inception 11 years ago.

“We are so incredibly pleased with the results of this year’s Turkey Drive,” said Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Helen Barron. “We are thankful to our celebrity pledgers for the hard work they put into this important event and to the amazing community we live in for rising to the occasion and taking care of their own in one of the most challenging years we have ever faced. A big thank you to Steve Zsillei as well for taking on the role of Chief Turkey this year and bringing boundless new energy to the event.”

This year’s campaign was headed by “Chief Turkey” Steve Zsillei, and a whole new flock of local celebrity pledgers. “Our ‘Little Pluckers’ worked relentlessly to reach their goal,” he said. “The citizens of Cranbrook and some from beyond, are truly amazing people, they blew my mind away with their generosity or should I not be surprised as this is what Cranbrook is.”

The Celebrity pledgers rival each other and compete to help make each years’ Turkey Drive a success. While it is a friendly rivalry, each one of the little pluckers is vying for the title of Chief Turkey and the award of the coveted Turkey Platter.

This year’s Turkey Platter was presented to Turkey Drive newcomer, Brandon Laurie. The platter has been previously held by long time pledger and supporter, Karin Penner, who has held the title for four consecutive years.

Major Ginny of the Salvation Army and Gerry Oviatt of the Cranbrook Food Bank were on hand to receive the news and cheques for the generous donation.

Lead image: Helen Barron, left, with Turkey Platter winner Brandon Laurie and Steve Zsillei. Photos submitted

Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce

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