Western Wheel Cares campaign kicks off

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More local charities will benefit from the Western Wheel Cares campaign this year.

Publisher Matt Rockley is expanding the Western Wheel’s annual charity campaign to support seven charities for 2016.

All proceeds raised by the campaign over the next two months will be split evenly between the Okotoks Food Bank, the Foothills Country Hospice, the Rowan House Society, the Magic of Christmas, the Sheep River Health Trust, Habitat for Humanity Foothills Chapter and the St. Vincent de Paul society.

Rockley said he didn’t want to turn any charities away this year and accepted every charity that applied.

“They’re all charities that make a big difference in the community and I thought it was important for Wheel Cares to include all of the charities,” he said. “I didn’t want to exclude anybody because they’re all very worthy causes.”

The campaign kicked off Nov. 1 and donations will be accepted until Dec. 31.

Western Wheel Cares has become a Christmas tradition. The support from Western Wheel readers and the Foothills community has been incredible, Rockley said. The campaign raised $42,520 in 2015 and has raised $137,428 over four years.

Rockley said he looks forward to the charity campaign continuing to grow this year.

With all the economic and fiscal challenges right now, Rockley said this is an important year to support charities and organizations working to help people in the Foothills.

“While the economic times aren’t favourable, this community never ceases to amaze me in generosity and ability to support worthwhile causes,” he said. “While I don’t have any expectations, I have a lot of optimism that the charities that will be funded from Western Wheel Cares will be well supported again this year.”

Rockley said including more charities this year spreads out the benefits to a wider range of needs and recipients.

What sets the Wheel Cares campaign apart is that with a single donation supporters are able to help a number of groups working to support residents in Okotoks and the foothills community at large. The Western Wheel is covering all administrative costs and the total sum donated will be evenly split between the charities involved.

This year, Big Rock Singers has agreed to support the Wheel Cares campaign. The Okotoks singing group will donate 25 per cent of proceeds from their Christmas concerts to the Wheel Cares campaign.

“It’s exciting that other charitable groups are wanting to partner with Western Wheel Cares,” said Rockley.

The charities have big plans for this year’s Wheel Cares donations.

The Foothills Chapter of Habitat for Humanity plans to use its portion of the Wheel Cares donations to buy land to build a duplex, the second to be built by the group. A location has not been decided, but it will be built in a town in the Foothills.

The Okotoks Food Bank plans to put the donations toward its fresh-food fund, which is used to buy fresh and frozen food, including meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables to be included in food hampers.

Magic of Christmas plans to use its funding to buying gift cards for food and gifts for families the group supports and some may go to buying toques, scarves and mittens for families.

St. Vincent de Paul will use the donation to support the society’s work helping families with meeting individual’s basic needs.

The Foothills Country Hospice plans to use its Wheel Cares funding for support services for patients and families, such as grief support and help with planning final arrangements.

The Rowan House will use donations to support women who arrive at the shelter with nothing at all, providing basic necessities such as clothing and personal items, and any left over funding will go towards prevention programming.

The Sheep River Health Trust plans to support patient and family first initiatives at the Okotoks Health and Wellness Centre.

A donation to Western Wheel Cares also makes the perfect gift at Christmas time.

The Fundraising campaign ends December 31, 2016. Donations can be made in person at the Western Wheel office, 9 McRae Street, Okotoks, Mon. to Fri., 9 – 5pm

Please mail Cheques to Western Wheel Cares Box 150, Okotoks, AB T1S 2A2.

Visit www.westernwheel.com for a Paypal donation link. To donate by E-transfers or for more information, please email gwolf@okotoks.greatwest.ca

All donations of $10 or more will receive a 2016 Official Tax Receipt from one of our charities at the end of the campaign.

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