Sharon Quail, fundraising coordinator, cooks up smokies at the event on Sunday. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Independent partners with Angel Flight for barbecue fundraiser

Independent was raising funds for the non profit until August 20

Angel Flight East Kootenay partnered with Kevin’s Your Independent Grocer to host a fundraiser teeming with sizzling smokies, colourful masks, and refreshing sodas.

The event was held in Fernie on August 9 and August 16, with all proceeds going towards Angel Flight, a volunteer-led non profit providing free air transportation to residents of the East Kootenays in need of medical treatment at centres in Kelowna.

After having many summer events fall thorough due to COVID-19, Angel Flight wanted to host a COVID-friendly fundraiser to raise awareness for their organization.

Throughout the morning and into the early afternoon, countless residents came by the stand to donate, strike up conversation, and indulge in steaming hot dogs. One of the attendees even mentioned that his father was one of the patients saved by Angel Flight’s charitable service.

To kick things off, Sharon Quail, fundraising coordinator for Angel Flight, reached out to Eldho Thankachan, assistant store manager of Kevin’s Your Independent Grocer, who donated the sausages, buns, and sodas on behalf of the grocery store.

“Loblaws is a company that highly values supporting the community, our intention is to help and grow the community to the next level,” said Thankachan.

The barbecue was held in conjunction with Independent’s dollar round up on groceries, encouraging customers to donate at the till from July 21 until August 20.

At Fernie’s event, local resident Mary Weselake also sold colourful masks in a variety of sizes, donating all proceeds toward Angel Flight. Her masks can also be found in town at Big Bang Bagels, Stephanie’s Glass and Art Studio, and Polar Peak Books.

“My son is one of the pilots for Angel Flight, and it such a great organization that I felt I needed to help somehow,” said Weselake.

Having had most of the fabric used for the masks donated, Weselake would still appreciate any further donations of fabric, thread, and elastic. Those interested in offering materials can reach her at

Following a three-month hiatus due to the pandemic, Angel Flight began flying again in mid-July. The organization has sent over 84 patients to appointments in hospitals since they started operations in April 2019.

The next Angel Flight fundraiser will be held at the Real Canadian Superstore in Cranbrook on August 20. For more information on Angel Flight or to donate, visit their website at, or call 250-430-1188.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Sharon Quail and Eldho Thankachan led the fundraising efforts in Fernie. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

UPDATE: Fire above Sparwood no threat to community

Mayor David Wilks reported it may be due to an exposed coal seam

Conservative opposition critic tours through Kootenay riding on listening tour

Pierre Poilievre, the Tory finance critic, gathering local feedback on pandemic supports, recovery issues

EKC makes $5,000 donation to Elk Valley ultrasound campaign

The EKC challenged other businesses to help the campaign hit its $300,000 target

City of Fernie to extend pilot snow removal program

Councillors voted unanimously on Sep. 17 to extend the program due to a lack of data points and disruption due to the pandemic

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read