Calgarian donates to demo derby

Calgarian Rob Fooks raiesd $2000 for the Elk Valley Hospital by auctioning off the driver
Calgarian Rob Fooks raiesd $2000 for the Elk Valley Hospital by auctioning off the driver's seat of his Demolition Derby car.
— image credit: S. Kucharski

Rob Fooks isn’t part of any official organization and he isn’t even from the town of Fernie, but that didn’t stop him from orchestrating an additional fundraiser to help donate money as part of this year’s Demolition Derby.

“I’m from Calgary and we’ve been coming down to Fernie for 15-20 years,” said Fooks adding, “and last year was, oddly, our first year at the Demolition Derby. And I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to buy a car and enter it?’”

The Calgarian did just that, along with auctioning off the driver and co-pilot’s seat for charity.

Half the fun of being involved in charity work, according to Fooks, is the fun itself.

“I’ve always liked exploring the opportunities to couple doing philanthropy with something fun,” Fooks explained. “Giving back is great, but if you can pair it with something that’s fun and something people want to do, it’s more sustaining that way and people want to be more involved.”

Fooks also got children involved, providing them with paintbrushes and stencils to redecorate the beat up car.

Fooks and the fundraiser’s supporters gathered at the Northern on Saturday afternoon before the day of the derby. Coun. Willard Ripley showed up for the event after Fooks reached out to him.

“It gives a whole new meaning to the derby for the town because the money’s going somewhere extremely important to Fernie,” said Ripley.

For Fooks, his philanthropic philosophy is simple: “We’re appreciative of the city, of the town and all the people in it who make it great. So it just made sense to us.”

The fundraiser accumulated over $4,000 — money that was split between the Elk Valley Hospital and a scholarship award that Fooks personally set up at a Calgary high school.


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