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Posted: November 19, 2019

Chamber Turkey Drive entering 10th year

The date of this year’s Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce Turkey Drive has been announced; it is set for Thursday, December 5.

The Turkey Drive is now entering its 10th year of raising money to assist the Salvation Army and the Cranbrook Food Bank’s Hamper programs.

The history of the Drive began when one of our local community agencies put a call out to inform the community that they did not have enough resources to fill the Hamper programs. Staff and volunteers of the chamber leapt to action, phoning members of the chamber, and within four hours had raised the money to ensure that families and residents in need would receive a hamper.

The Turkey Drive continues today due to the need within the community and taking incredible financial pressures off both recipient organizations.

Jason Wheeldon

“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 Jason 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.”

The concept is simple: members of the public can phone in a pledge on Thursday, December 5. One Turkey pledge = a $20 donation.

This year’s target for the Turkey Drive is to raise $50,000 in the one-day event. Community members can phone the Chamber of Commerce at 250-426-5914 on Thursday, December 5, and make their pledge. Payment options vary, with credit card, invoicing, personal cheques and a new online feature available through the chamber’s website.

The chamber has also employed a few celebrity pledgers in the community this year who have already been out and getting pledges. These celebrity pledgers have been dubbed the “Little Pluckers” and are instrumental in obtaining a large portion of the day’s proceeds.

This year’s team consists of the Mother Plucker Karin Penner, Chief Plucker Jason Wheeldon and the Little Pluckers:

  • Nathan Lieuwen – Cranbrook Bucks
  • Brent Jossy – Scotiabank Team
  • Josh Lowden and Chad Jensen – New Dawn Developments
  • Sean Campbell – Community Futures East Kootenay
  • John Salomon
  • Tom Shypitka – Kootenay East MLA
  • Chris Botterill – Genex Marketing
  • John Hudak – City of Cranbrook Councillor
  • Karin Penner – Mother Plucker.

“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 day one and who has lovingly been dubbed the Mother Plucker.

“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, chamber president. “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.”

Please show your support on December 5 and pledge a turkey for the Drive by calling 250-426-5914. Or, you can drop your pledge off at the chamber and share your story with our volunteers! Together, as a community, we can all take part and ensure that everyone enjoys a festive holiday with community spirit shining strong. Every pledge counts.

Lead image: Karin Penner with the coveted and extremely-difficult-to-take-away-from-her Turkey Drive trophy for raising the most money, again, last year. With another successful Turkey Drive this year, city volunteers will have raised about $500,000 for the Cranbrook Food Bank and Salvation Army in the last decade.  e-KNOW file photo


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