Bear Clan celebrates successful barbecue fundraiser

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

A little rain never hurt anyone, and that was certainly the case on Sunday as the Fort Frances chapter of the Bear Clan Patrol held a successful fundraising barbecue to help continue their mission of keeping the streets safe.

The barbecue was held outside of the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau on Fourth Street West, where the Bear Clan Patrol are based and operate from. Bear Clan Patrol members and volunteers were hard at work cooking up the burgers for hungry passersby and those who were looking to help support the organization with their mission.

Bear Clan Patrol’s James Eastman said the overall event was a success, which was particularly special for them as it was their first fundraiser of this nature.

“We were pretty busy for a good chunk of time, and then it was sporadic after that,” Eastman said.

Bear Clan Fort Patrol Fort Frances held its first barbecue fundraiser, and it was a great success. The community donated food and supplies to the group, which raised just over $1,000, to offset the costs of equipment, gas and supplies. – Ken Kellar photo

“People were happy, we got some messages, and our volunteers got some messages, saying the food was good. For our very first fundraiser doing a barbecue like that I think it went pretty well.”

The Bear Clan Patrol had spent about a week looking for donations and sponsorships for the barbecue, and Eastman said they were overwhelmed by the support they saw from people dropping off supplies for the fundraiser

Eastman explained that the group wasn’t keeping track of how many burgers went out over the course of the few hours they were cooking and selling food, but at the end of the day the Bear Clan Patrol collected just under $1,100. The funds raised will go towards supporting all of the different facets of what the Bear Clan does around town.

“We were quite happy and impressed with it,” Eastman said.

“We put the money into our main pot and then use it on rent, for gas, for supplies for when we do our snack bags and give out food on the weekend, and it’s used for other services as well. We’re not just needle clean-up, we do help with sheltering in different dire-needs situations, whether it be a hotel room or whatnot.”

Those who are still interested in making a donation to the Bear Clan Patrol are encouraged to reach out to the group on their Facebook page, and Eastman noted that they are planning for another fundraising barbecue sometime in the coming weeks.

Until then, Eastman shared that they are continually grateful to those in town who help out and donate to the Bear Clan Patrol to help keep them going.

“We’re very overwhelmed with the support,” he said.

“We appreciate everybody that attended as well as all the donors. Without donors and of course people coming out and giving us support, it wouldn’t have been as successful as it was. We can’t thank the community and sponsors enough for that support.”