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Alliston Lions’ “Stuff a Cruiser” event meets overwhelming success for 2018

December 14, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek

Alliston Lions Club members, in cooperation with the Nottawasaga OPP, hosted their annual Stuff a Cruiser’ event this past weekend, and were overwhelmed by the response from the community.

Founded by Alliston Lions and run for many years by Lion Jim Kenn, who was also a police officer, the event will help more than 270 kids this Christmas, by purchasing gifts and gift cards for local teens in need, as distributed through the Christmas Hamper program – also facilitated by the Alliston Lions Club.

“Wow, the generosity of our community never ceases to amaze our club, it is overwhelming the amount of toys, food and monetary donations received during our Stuff a Cruiser event, with our friends from the Nottawasaga Detachment of the OPP,” said Lion Mike Jerry, Christmas Hamper Chair.

The Alliston Lions also supports the Tottenham Fire Fighters Christmas Campaign, and provides teddy bears to the Adjala-Tosorontio and New Tecumseth Fire & Rescue and Nottawasaga OPP throughout the year.

“These bears are given to children involved in accidents and other situations,” said Lion Jaime Karsch, Public Relations Chair. “We also give out toys at many of our Lions events.”

Over the weekend, Lions collected toys from three participating locations – retail stores that sell toys: Canadian Tire, Walmart and Giant Tiger.

“The community is incredibly generous. Every person that donates makes our Christmas Hamper Program a success,” said Lion Karsch. “There was one gentleman who donated an entire shopping cart full of toys. Many children donated toys too, which is amazing to see. Additionally, several people donate toys every year, that they purchase in advance.”

The event, promoted through local media and social networks, gets bigger every year.

“Over the last five years we’ve taken ‘Stuff a Cruiser’ to a higher level,” confirms Lion Jerry. “As the need for donations increases from year to year, the event grows as well. Every year we are overwhelmed by the generosity of our community and the amount of toys we receive.”

Under their mantra, ‘We Serve’, the Alliston Lions Club partners with several local service agencies throughout the community such as the EFFA – Adjala–Tosorontio Fire & Rescue, the OPP, Rotary Club, schools, churches, and private businesses. 

“We donate to many different organizations as well, such as Matthews House Hospice, Stevenson Memorial Hospital, local sports teams, local events, Banting Foundation, My Sisters Place, Alliston Scouts and more,” said Karsch. “The list is long!”

If you missed the ‘Stuff a Cruiser event’, and would still like to donate, look for the Lions’ red donation barrels throughout the community at many local businesses, churches, schools and restaurants. 

“Anyone who missed our event can donate non-perishable food or toys directly in those barrels,” said Lion Jerry. “Also, on Tuesday, December 11, we have the Adjala–Tosorontio Fire Fighters Annual Jim Kenn Christmas Food Drive. Fire fighters and volunteers go door-to-door collecting food donations in the town of Everett. Flyers were distributed to each house in Everett on December 9 and residents leave food out on their porches for pick up the evening of December 11.”

The Alliston Lions Club is also in need of monetary donations, to purchase gift cards for older children, and to provide grocery store vouchers – to buy turkey or a ham – through the Hamper Program.

If anyone would like to donate contact the Alliston Lions Club through Facebook or by calling 705-435-4012 ext. 4 for the Christmas Hamper Chair.

This year, the Alliston Lions will assist 180 families and 270 children, with one additional sign-up date on December 11.

“Our goal is to ensure everyone has great Christmas,” said Karsch. “A huge thank you to Alliston Giant Tiger, Alliston Canadian Tire and Alliston Walmart for allowing us to host our event at their stores. Huge thank you to the Ontario Provincial Police (From the Nottawasaga OPP several officers took part for 2018, including: Inspector Steve Clegg,OPP coordinator Const. Lisa Cruz, Const. Jordan Kupferschmidt, Const.Jenny Brown, Const. C Wilson,Auxiliary Constable Andy McDougall, Auxiliary Constable Josh Quibell, Auxiliary Constable N. Schaefer, Auxiliary Constable Jake Bizzotto), Alliston Nottawasaga Detachment for partnering with us and to each and every officer who came out to help. Huge thank you to the generous community for all their donations, without them, we wouldn’t be able to help as many people as we do.”


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