Chamber Turkey Drive set for Dec. 6
The Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce has put together a team of over 12 to head up this year’s Turkey Drive.
“The chamber and its volunteers are proud to support the Salvation Army and the Cranbrook Food Bank; they are the true heroes in this program delivering to all those in need within our community,” said Jason Wheeldon returning Chief Turkey during today’s chamber luncheon at the Heritage Inn.
The history of the drive began when one of our local community agencies made a call out to the community to say they did not have enough resources to fill the hamper programs, staff and volunteers of the chamber leaped 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 has now grown into one of the largest fundraisers to ensure the Christmas Hamper program need is fulfilled each year and reaches out to every corner of our community.
The concept is simple, members of the public can phone in a pledge on Thursday, December 6. One Turkey pledge equals a $20 donation. In past drives every pledge counts from that one student who donated a turkey to other members who donate 200 turkeys to the drive. All monies raised are split equally between the Salvation Army and the Cranbrook Food Bank.
“It was the 22nd of December 2012. There was a knock at the door, I answered it and no one was there. I ran over to the window, leaving the door open, trying to see out the front window to see who had just been there. I saw taillights. I walked back over to the door. There was a box. A box wrapped around the outside with giftwrap. A box which, once I looked into it, there was a turkey, a hand full of potatoes, a freezer bag of carrots, a can of corn, a can of cranberry jelly, a pack of gravy four homemade buns and a box of stovetop. I won’t try to explain how it made me feel, I will simply say it did. It made me feel… Parts of me still wants to know who it was so I can hug them.”
There are hundreds of stories like this each year. The Turkey Drive ensures, with the support of our community, that all families in need can receive a Christmas Hamper.
This year’s target for the Turkey Drive is to raise $53,000 in the one-day event.
Community members can phone the Chamber of Commerce at 250-426-5914 on Thursday, December 6 and make their pledge. Payment options vary with credit card, invoicing, personal cheques and a new online feature available through the chamber website. For those tech-savvy supporters they can donate through the Turkey Drive link located at www.cranbrookchamber.com.
The target was raised this year due to the loss of another fundraiser that had supported both the organizations. The Turkey Drive volunteers hope to raise $53,000 to provide additional support.
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” who could – and are instrumental in – obtaining a large portion of the days proceeds.
Joining our Little Plucker team this year are:
1) Our returning two-time champion – Mother plucker Karin Penner;
2) New Dawn – Josh Lowden and Chad Jensen;
3) New and representing the banking industry Nicole Ankor from TD Canada Trust;
4) Returning Mike Hardy covering excavation and CP Rail;
5) Past President Chris Thom;
6) City Councillor Mike Peabody or now fondly-know as our “little peacock.”
7) Representing the dealerships and vehicle sales Steve Zsillei;
8) Representing the financial investment industry Michael Paugh from Investors group;
9) For lawyers/notaries and general chamber members Wes Rogers our current president;
10) Service Club representation will be Glen Dobie;
11) Restaurant industry is represented by David Kaiser;
12) Jason Wheeldon and Warren Bedell as co chairs.
Please show your support on December 6 and pledge a turkey for the drive by calling 250- 426-5914. Or join us and drop your pledge off and share your story with our volunteers. Together, as a community we can all take part and ensure everyone enjoys a festive holiday with community spirit shining strong.
Lead image: Turkey Drive co-chair Jason Wheeldon accepted a cheque for $1,340 from Wildstone Golf Course’s Chris Andrews. Photo by Carrie Schafer/e-KNOW