‘Community Chest’ new Safeway charity

Local Safeway employees voted overwhelmingly in support of the “Community Chest” as their new charity, Safeway manager Mike Scott said Friday.
The Community Chest provides financial assistance to local families facing expenses due to medical emergencies.
Rainycrest Home for the Aged was second in the balloting by employees, with the Fort Frances Volunteer Fire Brigade coming in third place.
Charities send in applications to Safeway that include a description of them and letter of introduction. Employees then get ballots with their pay cheques to choose which charity they’ll support through fundraising efforts for the coming year.
The ballots were counted Thursday afternoon.
After the employees decide on a charity, its organizers go through an interview process.
“We need support from them, too,” stressed Scott. “Friends of Animals is a good example—we had a lengthy interview with Susan Cousineau.
“They were willing to come out and help with events like the barbecues and selling tickets,” he noted.
But the Community Chest has such wide support from residents, Scott said employees knew they’d have lots of help organizing events.
“They have such support for the [annual] community benefit dinner and many volunteers like Georges and Linda Blanc, Linda Hamilton, and Elsie Cameron, just to name a few,” said Scott.
Blanc, one of the Community Chest volunteers, sent the application to Safeway. He said Friday he couldn’t be more pleased.
“It’s very wonderful that Safeway does this. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the charity and for people in the community and the district,” he said.
“We’ll raise money and, at the same time, we’ll raise our profile in the community,” he added. “More people will know what we do and how we help.”
Scott said he’s glad to see organizations as far away as Thunder Bay sending in letters to be Safeway’s charity, but admitted the difficulty is getting volunteers to come to Fort Frances to participate in fundraising events.
The Community Chest is a joint effort of the local Knights of Columbus, Lions Club, Kiwanis Club, and “Spirit of Christmas” committee.
“All these groups are always on board to help us,” said Blanc. “They help raise money and also assist physically with moving auction items up to the banquet room and assist with teardown for the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ silent auction.”
The next community benefit dinner is slated Feb. 10. Last year’s dinner raised $15,000.