Lillis Perreault, co-owner of the Bridge Bistro and Aysha Haines, treasurer of the Rotary Club of Fernie pose with some freshly made soup from the Bridge Bistro. Soranne Floarea/The Free Press

Lillis Perreault, co-owner of the Bridge Bistro and Aysha Haines, treasurer of the Rotary Club of Fernie pose with some freshly made soup from the Bridge Bistro. Soranne Floarea/The Free Press

Rotary Club of Fernie gives back to the community

The Rotary Club of Fernie organized a number of initiatives to celebrate essential workers

  • Apr. 30, 2020 12:00 a.m.

In an effort to express their gratitude to essential workers, the Rotary Club of Fernie has partnered with various local organizations to spread love throughout the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initiating its efforts on Friday, April 17, the Rotary Club of Fernie united with The Bridge Bistro and the Chopstick Truck to distribute nearly 200 meals to deserving essential workers. While the Bridge Bistro whipped up an assortment of meal options including pastries and pulled pork, the Chopstick Truck prepared vermicelli bowls, spring rolls, and subs.

“We like to be a part of anything going on within the community. [This initiative] shows how important all of these jobs are to keep our community going, even though sometimes they can be overlooked,” said Sydney Salvador, co-owner of the Chopstick Truck.

The lunches were delivered by volunteer Rotarians and given to workers at local banks, the East Kootenay Community Credit Union, Canada Post, the Fernie Fire Department, a number of schools throughout town, the Fernie Memorial Arena, and the Fernie Aquatic Centre, among others.

To further aid with pandemic related struggles, the Rotary Club of Fernie has also been making weekly donations to the Salvation Army Food Bank to assist with an increased demand for their services within the community. Specifically, the donations go towards supporting children and families that usually receive such assistance from the school district, but are unable to as a result of current closures and restrictions.

Furthermore, the Rotary Club of Fernie also created a gratitude campaign to extend additional appreciation to those still working. The campaign seeks to thank essential workers by making donations in their name to the Elk Valley Hospital, the food bank, and the Fernie Women’s Resource Centre. The donations total between five and 10 dollars per employee, and are given to an organization of the worker’s choice. Eligible staff include those from the British Columbia Ambulance Service, the Elk Valley Hospital, Save On Foods, and Kevin’s Your Independent Grocer. The Rotary Club of Fernie also recently partnered with Bean Pod Chocolates to send gifts to each employee in an effort to continue brightening their day.

“We are so proud to see our community pulling together to support one another during this difficult time,” said Aysha Haines, treasurer of the Rotary Club of Fernie. “It reminds us that the Rotary motto of ‘Service above Self’ lives in all of us, not just members of the Rotary Club.”

Each of the initiatives hosted by the Rotary Club of Fernie are supported by fundraising campaigns, including their annual Wine Tree Raffle and their BBQ Challenge, along with donations from local Rotarians and members of the community. Anyone looking to donate in an effort to support the aforementioned projects and essential workers can do so via a donation link on the Rotary Club of Fernie’s Facebook page.


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