WESTLOCK – The Westlock Thunderbirds fundraising coordinator Jerry Buchko nearly fell over when he learned the club was receiving a generous $5,000 donation from local business Kal Tire.
The donation came via the community through Kal Tire’s High-Five program this winter after residents participated by donating a portion of funds from services and products purchased at the local business. Funds raised will go to purchase needed equipment for the club.
“We are just blown away by the amount raised by Kal Tire via the community. I've never seen a town support a football program as much as the citizens and businesses of Westlock,” said Buchko. “Year after year the businesses come through with their support of the football organization. Hats off to Kal Tire, we expected to receive around $1,200 so when Kevin Gouchie called and told me that we were getting $5,000, I nearly fell over.”
Kal Tire manager Kevin Gouchie said they distributed business cards to players to hand out this fall and during the annual (Christmas) parade, as part of the program.
“Anybody who brought me that card, five per cent of that purchase went back to (the T-Birds),” said Gouchie, noting the program began in 2019 and this year was the most successful since it began three years ago.
“This is by far the best result we’ve had. We had to cap it (at $5,000) said Gouchie, noting prior to the pandemic they had also raised funds for the Westlock Minor Hockey Association and the Pembina Ringette Association. “We’ll do it again in the fall for somebody else,” he said.
The fundraiser began in September 2022 and ran until January 2023 noted Gouchie, adding they will be making some changes to the program this fall and are “going to put a $2,500 cap on it and have it happen in the fall each year.”