The Great Turkey Race is wrapped up and the Cold Lake Food Bank has been replenished with donations for their Christmas food hampers.
The Cold Lake and District FCSS’ fundraiser this year took a unique and fun spin to raising donations.
With Ruffles the Turkey getting in shape for the “race”, they raised enough money for almost 470 food hampers this holiday season.
Volunteer services program facilitator, Leanne Draper, said the drive was a major success and a good replacement for their annual Fill-a-Bus drive where teams of volunteers would collect non-perishable goods and turkeys for the food bank.
“Unfortunately with COVID, we just could not safely assemble the number of volunteers, we would need to carry out that project this year,” said Draper.
“We know that traditionally the Cold Lake Food Bank has about 400 requests for hampers a year. So again, our fun little attempt at this, we thought well, let’s try and collect 400 essentially virtual turkeys. With each $25 donation being equivalent to a turkey.”
With an online counter, the local FCSS also took up the charge in from of their building. A 16 foot physical counter was attached their fence with gold markers from zero to 400. A three-foot cut-out of a turkey was then moved along as the donations came in.
Ruffles would then come and take a picture with businesses that donated.
Twenty-five dollars is equivalent to one turkey donated.
“Ruffles is a little bit Cold Lake famous up here. Ruffles has made several appearances at local businesses. He’s on a couple of Facebook pages. And he was also making regular appearances at the Thursday Farmer’s Market as well.”
Although the Cold Lake FCSS finished collecting donations on Dec. 5, generous contributors still donated later, which was heart-warming to see, said Draper.
“We cannot thank enough the people of Cold Lake and area. The families, the preschool class, all the businesses, the business community really came out with full force to support this, and we just can’t thank them enough for their generosity, and just embracing this kind of fun, silly. fundraiser. It has had a huge impact. So we can’t say enough. Thank you,” she said.
“The donations have amazed us. We have been humbled. We have our hearts are so full.”