Divers run for turkeys and hampers

West Shore Christmas Hamper Turkey Run

Members of Fleet Diving Unit (Pacific) ran through the cities of Langford and Colwood to generate donations for the West Shore Christmas Hamper Turkey Run.

Navy divers have ensured more than 650 families in the West Shore have a turkey, or protein of their choice, on their table this Christmas.

It’s the result of 60 military members  and 20 spouses and friends taking to the streets Dec. 1 for a six-hour Christmas Hamper Turkey Run.

They raised $22,100 for the Goldstream Food Bank; that’s $5,000 more than last year.

To add to this feat, some divers wore re-breathers and even the full bomb suit. They used dive boots to collect cash from onlookers and motorists.

“People were so generous,” said event organizer Lt(N) Walter Dubeau. “The average donation was about $5 per car and lots of people handed out $20 and we even had $100.”

Two interactive displays were set up along the route in front of Mill Stream Village and West Shore Town Centre to spread awareness of what the military divers do, and two hot dog stands helped to raise additional money.

“We received outstanding support from West Shore RCMP and Military Police in ensuring the traffic was cleared for our passage the entire day,” said Lt(N) Dubeau.

“This event really brings the community together and we are very thankful for the support from local businesses,” he added.

The prize for the biggest corporate donor, a deep sea dive helmet to display for a year, went to Original Joes Restaurant and Bar for $4,800. Everything Wine was also a major sponsor of the event. Six Mile Pub hosted a party after the run that included a silent auction.

“The highlight was the esprit de corps and camaraderie we had throughout the day. Everybody was smiling and had a good time. It’s a great community event,” said Lt(N) Dubeau.

Included in the run were graduates of the ship’s team diver class who had just completed their training the day before.
“They found the experience to be incredible and overwhelming and had a real feeling of accomplishment.”

On Dec. 20 about 15 members from the dive unit will spend the day at the Goldstream Food Bank handing out hampers and gift cards for turkeys to needy families.

This year’s Turkey Run was dedicated to Karl Kavanaugh, a navy veteran who worked at the West Shore Christmas Hamper each year and established the idea of a turkey run together with Lt(N) Dubeau. Kavanaugh died in February of this year.

Shelley Lipke, Staff Writer

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.