Main photo: Volunteers with the Kiwanis Christmas in July food drive collected donations at Bullock’s Independent (above are Janice Larade, left, and Lynnis Royea), Metro and FreshCo (submitted)
By Rick Brooks
As Chair of the Kiwanis Club of Huntsville Muskoka’s food drive team, it’s impossible to limit a response to one word, but if I tried it would be ‘AWESOME’.
There are way too many to thank in bringing this drive the success that it was. This was our third year being involved with the “Christmas in July” Food Drive and I must start there, with [Salvation Army] Major Neil taking over just after last year’s drive from Major Darren, the drive has not missed a beat because of one lady, Krystal Fuller as their food bank co-ordinator, then add onto that the runners Trevor and Ralph.
Add onto that the advanced marketing we did, starting especially with Kiwanis member Kandis at Country 102, and Brock & Martin at Moose FM ensuring that their listeners had no excuse to say they didn’t hear of it, then add our flyers and handouts, all from Staples.
To our stores themselves: Darcy and Alycia Bullock at Independent and Andrew at Metro. I have nothing but praise for their willingness to jump in right away, as always. And new this year was Barb at FreshCo. I must say, Barb McLaughlin was as excited to be engaged in this event as anyone.
To our Kiwanian members and volunteers: I am so humbled and proud to continue to chair this event. Our engagement in this event from start to finish was well over 500 service hours, but the results are the proof in the pudding because of one other variable, and that is the support of the greater community.
Awesome itself does not begin to justify the turnout we had this drive – the community support, recognizing the need continues to be there, especially given the effects of the pandemic.
I was captaining the team at Independent, and the number of people that came up to donate and shared their personal stories of being helped by The Salvation Army in their past was simply humbling. Their willingness to share their stories and give from their hearts was quite evident and truly appreciated by our volunteers. In speaking with Martin, our president, who led the team at Metro, and Shirley, our president-elect at FreshCo, had similar stories, the support was universal.
Now the moment you have been waiting for… This year we’ve exceeded our previous overall numbers as we brought in over two tons of food as well as a staggering $6,500 dollars in cash and gift cards for The Salvation Army Food Bank.
Again a HUGE thank you to the giving residents and visitors who stopped by to make this happen by donating, and all involved with bringing this to fruition yet again. AWESOME!
Thanking you again for all you do.
Rick Brooks is the secretary treasurer for the Kiwanis Club of Huntsville Muskoka
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