THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO December 7, 2019 (LSN) The Christmas season just got a whole lot brighter for 100 Thunder Bay families thanks to Leadership Thunder Bay’s annual turkey dinner drive.
Now in its fifth year, the drive has raised some $11,500 to go towards turkeys, stuffing, vegetables, cranberry sauce, gravy, desserts, breakfast foods and other groceries. This year’s drive was the most successful yet, netting over $3500.
The drive has been supported for the past four years by Shawn’s No Frills on Dawson Road which provides the groceries at cost. It was also sponsored again this year by TBT Engineering and OPSEU 707 with cash donations and Halfway Motors, providers of the transportation.
Leadership Thunder Bay Past-President and drive organizer Matthew Villella, a graduate of the Leadership Thunder Bay program, said that his experiences in taking the program inspired him and another Past-President Kelly Fettes to take on the task of raising awareness and funds for the project.
“An important part of Leadership Thunder Bay’s curriculum is to have participants better understand our city, its opportunities and its challenges as well as about those who face some of those challenges. Because of this, many often gain a greater empathy for and desire to help the people who deal with these issues”, he said.
The Leadership Thunder Bay team members “shop” for the groceries at No Frills, load them up and deliver them to the Regional Food Distribution Association, decked out in their holiday finery.
It’s a cause, said Villella, that aligns with Leadership Thunder Bay’s mission, vision and values.
“The turkey drive has become an important activity for our alumni, current class and supporters as we all believe that a strong community is a caring community,” he said.
Leadership Thunder Bay President Kristina Baraskewich said that the team is already making plans for next year’s drive.
“We believe we can address an ever-growing need and step up our game again next year with the goal of providing meals for even more families”, she said.
L-R: Darlene Wilson, LTB Board member, Theresa Stewart, Class of 2020 participant, Gladys Berringer, Executive Administrator, Brendan Carlin, RFDA, Shawn Capnerhurst, No Frills, Matthew Villella, Past President, Leadership Thunder Bay, Lesley Harding, volunteer.
L-R, Berringer, Villella, Wilson, Stewart in the Halfway van.
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