Nakoda Mason and Thomas Bravais pose beside their donation thermometer outside Straight Line Bicycle and Ski. Paige Mueller/The Free Press

Taking a Straight Line to the food bank

Straight Line Bicycle and Ski is doing their part to fight hunger this holiday season with their yearly fundraiser.

According to Nakoda Mason, the annual fundraiser began in 2014 and “has continued to grow annually ever since.”

When the Second Avenue shop originally started the fundraiser they asked people to donate non-perishable foods items in store to later be dropped off at the Salvation Army food bank.

“For 2014-2017, we had shopping carts and people would come and drop off food. That was great,” said Mason. “I think the first year we did one or two carts and by the end we had five or six shopping carts full of food.”

Even though the fundraiser was always a success, last holiday season, the shop changed their approach.

“We made the transition last year because they [the food bank] had noted that the food is great and all but money would be more beneficial to them. I guess money goes farther than cans of beans and ramen noodles.”

Now, the shop donates 100 per cent of the revenue from their ski and snowboard waxing service to the food bank. The cost of a wax is only $20 and Mason noted that it was great because lots of people are looking to get their skis waxed before hitting the slopes for the first time this season. Whenever it snows, “it’s like a last minute thing, people will be like ‘wow it snowed a bunch, I’ve got to go get my skis waxed today’,” he said.

Last year, Straight Line raised $2,200 and they hope to replicate their success this year by raising $2,000. The shop is tracking their progress with a giant thermometer with wrapping paper indicating their total in the front shop window.

As of December 12, the shop had raised approximately $500. Mason encouraged people to come in and get a wax on their skis, snowboards or nordic skis since the proceeds will be going to the food bank until December 24, to give people “as much of an opportunity as possible.”

Mason admitted that it’s been a bit slower this year, due in part, he thinks, to the lack of snow. Despite that, he said that people are coming in to get their skis waxed specifically because they know this is Straight Line’s holiday tradition.

Speaking about the fundraiser in general, Mason said, “the food bank was stoked and we thought it was a good time of year to give back and do something.”

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