Ucluelet Fire Chief Ted Eeftink, centre, smiles over a handshake with Co-op General Manager Laurie Gehrke, far right, surrounded by delighted local Co-op staffers and firefighters as Gehrke presents the brigade with a $2,000 donation raised by Co-op members. (Andrew Bailey Photo)

Co-op fuels Ucluelet Fire Brigade with support

Gas Bar donations net $2,000

Ucluelet’s Volunteer Fire Department has $2,000 to spend on upgrading its lifesaving capabilities thanks to the generosity of local Co-op members.

“We would like to thank our members in the community for supporting us for such an important fundraising event because we could not have done it without them,” Co-op General Manager Laurie Gehrke told the Westerly News.

Gehrke recently presented the brigade with the impressive donation, which stemmed from Co-op members donating the 3-cent-per-litre coupons they receive at the local Gas Bar as well as a Fuel Good event in September where five cents from every litre sold was donated, along with matching funds from Federated Cooperative Limited.

Fuel Good events were held at roughly 250 Co-ops across Western Canada, with each one choosing a local organization to send the donations to and Gehrke said Ucluelet’s Co-op saw their community’s firefighters as a great beneficiary.

“They need to constantly and continuously upgrade their equipment and update their equipment,” she said. “Those guys work hard to provide services to keep us safe…It’s a vital part of our community.”

Fire Chief Ted Eeftink said the donation has not yet been earmarked for anything specific, but added it would likely go towards safety equipment upgrades.

“Our hats are off to those guys and a big ‘Thank you’ to them,” Eeftink said of the Co-op’s donation.

“The support we get from the community and the district is just never ending and we’re ecstatic about that…It’s unbelievable what they do for us.”

He added the community’s support is a constant source of motivation for his dedicated fire crew.

“They’re showing us that they appreciate what the guys are doing out there,” he said.

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