PORT HARDY—Having already raised nearly $3,500 toward the Gazette Hamper Fund, the Port Hardy Rotary Club is upping its ante.
During a collection drive at their last regular meeting, individual members of Port Hardy Rotary donated $1,745 to the Hamper Fund, now in its 33rd year of providing holiday meals and gifts to needy families on the North Island.
That total was promptly matched by the club, bringing its total to $3,490.
After delivering the money — along with a selection of non-perishable food items, Port Hardy Rotary announced it was challenging Port McNeill to try to meet or beat its contribution.
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The Social Club at the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources decided to change up the usual auction fundraiser in its Port McNeill offices in favour of putting more emphasis on the collection of food and toys for the Gazette Hamper Fund.
That resulted in a small mountain of toys and non-perishable food items being delivered to the Gazette office last week, but the Social Club was not finished yet.
This week, it presented more than $2,000 in cash and nearly $200 in gift cards at Port McNeill merchants, including Marketplace IGA, Super Valu and Rona/Shoprite.
This weekend, North Islanders can win a turkey for their own holiday table while helping provide dinner for others at the Port McNeill Lions Club’s annual Turkey Bingo event.
Starting Saturday at 7 p.m., participants can play bingo with a chance to win one of numerous turkeys.
Don’t care for a poultry dinner? No problem — the Lions typically have a selection of large hams available as well for winners who prefer them.
Admission to the event is a non-perishable foot item, which will be donated to the Hamper Fund effort.
Gold into gifts
Romanoff Estate Buyers of Victoria, which hosted a gold, silver and antique-buying event at Thunderbird Mall in late November, has forwarded a donation of $228 toward the Gazette Hamper Fund.
The contribution was based on $1 for each gram of gold purchased, on a total of 228 grams.
“We hope that the money contributes to a very successful fund-raising drive and that many families benefit overall,” wrote John Newman and Susan Bracher of Romanoff Estate Buyers.
Port McNeill’s Town Council and the Chamber of Commerce both recognized the efforts of Flower Shoppe owner Lyn Skrlac in creating a new Hamper Fund campaign while promoting local businesses.
Skrlac sent a letter to Port McNeill businesses through the Chamber, asking them to put up a themed Christmas tree to attract donations for the Hamper Fund.
More than two dozen businesses and organizations agreed to contribute either a decorated tree or other aid.
“As much as it’s about the Hamper Fund it’s also a shop local initiative,” said David Mitchell, president of Port McNeill’s Chamber of Commerce. “It was a good initiative Lyn came up with, and we said, ‘let’s do it.’”