The fundraising campaign stopped for dinner at Browns Socialhouse in Courtenay on one night and ended up with not only a meal but some more fans and donations to the cause. Facebook photo

The fundraising campaign stopped for dinner at Browns Socialhouse in Courtenay on one night and ended up with not only a meal but some more fans and donations to the cause. Facebook photo

Comox Valley Christmas Light Trucks raises more than $20,000

Campaign collected funds instead for food bank on almost nightly trips

Even in a year with so much gloom, the Comox Valley Christmas Light Trucks campaign again brought a little more light to the community.

When Kevin and Erin Kaetler tallied up donations for the food bank this year, they had raised more than $20,000.

This year was a scaled-down version. The Kaetlers decorated the truck they use the rest of the year for their business, Strate Scapes Landscaping. They were joined by family friend Jacob Thornton and Thornton’s co-pilot Rachael McMillan in another truck for this year’s run.

RELATED STORY: Comox Valley Christmas Light Trucks still rolling this holiday season

Again, they drove through neighbourhoods and made pit stops in key public locations in the weeks leading up to Christmas. What was different of course was that instead of raising actual food donations for the local food bank, they were accepting donations in cash or online, with social distancing provisions in place to be in line with COVID-19 protocols, but people again responded. Businesses also wrote some cheques to help the cause.

“Words can’t explain really fully how we felt,” says Kevin. “It was just unreal every night.”

In all, when the Kaetlers tallied up the exact amount, including a couple of final e-transfers, they had raised $20,705.46.

If the process had to change this year, the effect from Comox Valley Christmas Light Trucks was also a little different, as the fundraiser earned its name more than ever. The Kaetlers could see how much more important putting things in a different light was for people in the community, as was the social contact, albeit from a safe distance.

“It was amazing … easily our favourite year,” says Erin. “A lot of things stood out this year.”

Families would often come out in their driveways in different neighbourhoods to smile and say hello, and more people went out of their way to say thanks. Others were overcome by emotion during a visit and ended up sending messages later.

“We’ve had people speechless, literally covering their mouths and not even knowing what to say,” she says.

Kids also seemed to be extra appreciative during the truck visits throughout the community.

“They look at you and they just beam,” she says.

Erin gave thanks and chronicled the almost nightly trips into different parts of the Comox Valley on the Facebook page, noting the responses from people as well as the donations as they came in.

“People were really, realling willing to give,” she adds.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Food Bankfundraiser

Just Posted

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Google/Screencap)
BC Coroners Service investigating death at a North Saanich marina

Death said to have happened late Monday night

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Dallas Road

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Officials say there’s not enough Vancouver Island eggs to meet demand

BC Egg Marketing Board doesn’t regulate labelling, supply needed from off-Island

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo
Snow, winter might not be done with Vancouver Island quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend for mid-Island

B.C. Representative for Children and Youth Jennifer Charlesworth (Black Press files)
B.C. watchdog says mentally ill children and youth retraumatized in hospital

The number of children held under the Mental Health Act has increased an alarming 162 per cent in past decade

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a threat was made at Woodgrove Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Threat directed at Nanaimo mall, RCMP investigating

Police have searched areas of Woodgrove Centre accessible to shoppers and have deemed it safe

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

Firefighters respond to a fire on Heatherly Road in Colwood Jan. 19. (Photo courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)
Two people escape injury in Colwood house fire

Heatherly Road fire started on a covered porch

In January, six flights with cases of COVID-19 onboard have landed at the Victoria International Airport so far. (Black Press Media file photo)
Two new COVID-19 exposures reported on flights to Victoria

A Jan. 10 flight from Toronto and Jan. 11 flight from Calgary were affected

B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced funding to train community mental health workers at four B.C. post-secondary institutions. (Stock photo)
B.C. funding training of mental health workers at four post-secondary institutions

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

Most Read