Wine, chocolates, and a can of cider were found inside this ninja pack. Photo Submitted

The Elk Valley holds on to hope

Local residents continue to spread joy with fundraisers, virtual parties, and gift giving

A number of heartwarming initiatives, fundraisers, and donations continue to help East Kootenay residents weather the pandemic.

Giving back to small businesses within the Elk Valley, Giv’er Shirt Works collaborated on a shirt design with Alesha Thompson from Lilac Media to raise money for local enterprises struggling due to COVID-19. The design showcases images of activities that make the Elk Valley an amazing place to live, work, and play, and will be printed on both youth and adult sized shirts, as well as adult sized hoodies. The products will be sold in Giv’er Shirt Works’ retail and online stores, with $10 from each purchase going towards a small business of the buyer’s choice.

Also keeping spirits high is the women only Fernie Area Wine Ninjas Facebook group. In acts of selfless compassion, Elk Valley locals have been anonymously leaving each other baskets of goodies. The packages include bottles of wine, cans of beer, snacks, lip balms, nail polishes, face masks, and other feel good gifts.

Upon noticing that smaller towns were getting lost amidst the more popular BC Wine Ninja group, local Krista Tessman and friend Mel Willis, launched an Elk Valley specific division.

“I love seeing all the posts of people being ninja’d and being the ninja. It’s bringing joy to someone’s day in this difficult time. I’ve been a ninja three times, and the women I chose to ninja really needed a pick me up for a variety of reasons,” said Tessman.

To participate, residents are to find the master post corresponding to their respective district, comment their address, then allow the wine ninjas to take it from there. Participants are also encouraged to become ninjas if possible, spreading the love by sourcing and delivering gifts.

Offering residents an exciting Friday night event was local actor Mike Bull, who hosted a 80’s Prom Night Gone Wrong Murder Mystery Party on May 29 over Zoom. The entertaining evening had locals dressed up in big hairdos and rad digs, while sipping on specialized prom night cocktails from Fernie Distillers found in the purchased party packs.

To keep young ones entertained while also celebrating Indigenous Day, Fernie Secondary School (FSS) shared a colouring contest released by Staples Canada and Colouring it Forward. The activity package includes colouring pages and lessons, and can be found on the FSS Facebook page.

To participate, contestants are to print off the PDF, colour it, and post photos of the finished pieces to Facebook and Instagram, following and tagging @colouringitforward, @staplescanada and #StaplesSupports. Two preliminary draws for colouring books and markers will be held on June 7 and June 14, with the grand prize draw held on June 21, where one lucky artist receives $500 worth of art supplies. All winners will be announced on the @colouringitforward socials.

Also keeping spirits high was the Fernie Chamber of Commerce, who alongside the Elk Valley Furniture Studio, cohosted a virtual Business Banter and Beer meeting on May 27 via Zoom.

At the event, Brad Parsell, executive director of the Fernie Chamber of Commerce, delivered an update, after which the Elk Valley Furniture Studio was offered the chance to speak about their business. The meeting concluded with an open questions and answer session. Free to attend, the event provided the Elk Valley Furniture Studio the opportunity to increase their exposure. It also offered chamber members the opportunity to network with one another, despite current challenges.

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The gifted ninja packs contain everything from plants, to snacks, to tasty drinks. Photos Submitted

The Fernie Area Wine Ninjas have been anonymously spreading love for the past month.

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