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Check stop keeps fundraising tradition alive in Sundre

Proceeds support variety of community programs like Sundre Santas

SUNDRE — Support for the annual myGNP Charity Check Stop does not seem to have waned whatsoever in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, an organizer said a record amount raised of nearly $12,000 was set this year.

“We believe that’s our best year ever,” said Dolores Dercach, chair of the Greenwood Neighbourhood Place Society’s board.

That’s up from the approximately $9,000 to $10,000 raised in past years, she said.

Previously known as the Sundre Santas Charity Check Stop, which was held much later in the fall some time in November, the community fundraiser was last year rebranded and rescheduled not only to avoid the more frigid temperatures volunteers were exposed to, but also to enable the Greenwood Neighbourhood Place Society to decide where to allocate the proceeds.

Although Sundre Santas remains a top priority, the board wanted to ensure other programs could also benefit from the fundraiser.

Several members of the Sundre Fire Department teamed up on Oct. 2 with several of the society’s board members and volunteers to conduct the charity check stop fundraiser at the traditional location on the Highway 27-Main Avenue corridor in front of the IGA.

With a clear, blue sky and bright shining sun, volunteers would have been hard pressed asking for better conditions to spend the day.  

Pandemic protocols, such as using arm extension grabbers and shortened hockey sticks, were used to maintain a physical distance from drivers contributing cash or coins.

There was also a digital transaction device for motorists who opted to use debit or credit cards. That contributed $725 to the total — up from the $600 raised last year when the machine was first introduced, said Dercach.

That amount would have been a little higher but for a technical telecommunication glitch that temporarily left the device inoperable, she said, adding some motorists were unable to contribute. Although it wasn’t down very long, it was just long enough to miss a couple of donations, she said.

While many drivers seemed to know the drill, those who wondered what was happening were largely receptive, and there was no shortage of smiles exchanged between them and the volunteers.