Todd Weselake and Brent Bidston of Angel Flight accept a donation cheque from Sparwood Lions Club treasurer Cindy Dwyer on May 1, 2020. Photo Submitted

Generosity abounds in Elk Valley despite pandemic

Many local businesses and organizations are continuing to make donations during COVID-19

Despite the fact that many individuals are out of work, many businesses are seeing revenues plummet and many organizations have had to put their work on hold, generosity is still alive and well in the Elk Valley.

In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen an outpouring of community donations from a variety of benevolent sources.

On April 30, Island Lake Lodge showed their love for Fernie by making and donating a combined total of 70 litres of soup, stew and chili. Chef Mark and his team put together these meals for the food bank so that they could be distributed around the community. The potato and fennel soup, beef and bison stew and beef chili were huge hits. After posting photos of the donations on their Facebook page, Island Lake Lodge wanted to let everyone know that they “hope you are all doing well in these challenging times.”

Another generous donation came not long after, although this time in Sparwood.

May 1 saw a wonderful donation from the Sparwood Lions Club to Angel Flight East Kootenay. Brent Bidston and Todd Weselake, two pilots for Angel Flight, accepted the donation of $2,107.60 from the Sparwood Lions Club treasurer, Cindy Dwyer. About half of the donated amount came from the last TV Bingo night hosted by the Sparwood Lions Club before COVID-19 shut them down.

Legacy Ford Fernie also spread some love and cheer this week with their donation of face shields to the Elk Valley Dental Association. Last month, Ford of Canada began producing face shields to protect medical workers at their Windsor plant. This week, our local Ford dealership was able to do a good deed by officially donating some of the face shields that had been manufactured. Alan Donaldson, general manager of Legacy Ford Fernie made the official hand off to Dr. Alistair Nicoll with the Elk Valley Dental Association.

In another stunning display of generosity, Teck Coal Fording River Operations and the United Steelworkers Local 7884 purchased approximately $6,600 worth of Girl Guide cookies in early May. According to a Facebook post by Christal Klassen, the Elkford Sparks, Brownies and Girl Guides have had a great relationship with these two parties for years. This year, the partnership extended even further when Teck Coal Fording River Operations and USW Local 7884 offered to purchase all of the Girl Guide cookies currently in storage.

The pandemic severely impacted the Elkford Girl Guide’s abilities to sell their cookies, which subsidize and offset the costs for various activities and camping trips throughout the year. With Teck Coal and USW Local 7884 stepping in to help out, the young women won’t lose out on their $6,600 of spring time sales.

Even as our communities suffer from the COVID-19 pandemic in a myriad of ways, there are still people out there doing their best to keep the giving spirit alive.

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Alan Donaldson, general manager of Legacy Ford Fernie, makes a donation of face shields to Dr. Alistair Nicoll for the Elk Valley Dental Association. Photo Submitted

Island Lake Lodge put together over 70 litres of delicious soup, stew and chili. The food was later donated to the food bank in an effort to help feed the community. Photo Submitted

Various soups and stews from Island Lake Lodge simmer on the stove before being donated to the food bank for distribution throughout the community. Photo Submitted

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