Arthur Street Metro manager Telford Carther, River Street Metro manager Brian McNamara and Distaster Relief Committee co-chairwoman Lynn Peterson announce Loonie Days for Disaster Relief on Thursday at city hall.
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Faced with a $4.19-million shortfall and time ticking rapidly toward a self-imposed Nov. 30 deadline, the city’s Disaster Relief Committee is hoping a grocery-store campaign will help catapult them closer to their $5-million fundraising goal.
Thunder Bay’s Metro and Quality Market locations will stage Loonie Days for Disaster Relief from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2., asking customers to contribute a dollar per purchase toward the cause.
Committee officials say it looks like they’ll need between $15 million and $20 million to cover the costs of claims arising from the May 28 flood and subsequent sewage back-up disaster that left thousands of people facing thousands of dollars in repairs and replacements.
The province will triple anything the DRC collects through two-for-one funding.
Brian McNamara, manager of the River Street Metro location, said the disaster hit close to home.
“We have a lot of staff that still have no basements or furnaces. The disaster affected so many people that there’s not enough construction guys in town. They’re pulling people from out of town to help fix up people’s basements and get people’s lives back together,” McNamara said.
“This is an excellent opportunity for us to show that we’re part of the community – always have been – and will continue to do so.”
The money will be a welcome addition to the slowly growing coffers.
On average, the DRC needs to raise about $37,053 a day between now and the deadline, about $259,000 a week.
Last week they took in a mere $9,000.
McNamara said he’s got high hopes the two Metro locations and their customers can be huge contributors to the cause.
“Our customer count is high. We find people in Thunder Bay to be very generous people, so I anticipate this will be a very successful event,” McNamara said.
DRC co-chairwoman Lynn Peterson said every little bit helps.
“Every fundraising event is important to the campaign,” Peterson said. “As you know the number is large. The need is $15 million to $20 million, the expected damage claims. We need to raise $5 million, and I know it’s a big number, but also is based on need.
“The need is there, so it’s launched and it’s wonderful that local businesses are looking and certainly happy to help in any way they can. The Loonie Days launch is an opportunity for the business community to ask their customers.”
Other businesses interested in participating in Loonie Days for Disaster Relief can call the DRC office at 625-2686 between now and Aug. 24.
To donate to the Thunder Bay and Area Disaster Relief Fund, visit www.thunderbay.ca/flood.
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