A human chain was put to work the afternoon of Dec. 18 as food collected by the Thornhill Volunteer Fire Department was unloaded from its emergency command vehicle and into the storeroom of the Salvation Army.
Thanks to the weigh scale at the four-way stop, which provided the weight of the full vehicle and again when it was empty, firefighters were able to calculate the weight of the donations at 2,300 pounds.
It was collected over three nights – Dec. 15-17 – as fire department vehicles decorated with Christmas lights and complete with Christmas music travelled through Thornhill.
“In the past we did it over two nights but this year we did it in three nights so we could be finished earlier each night so that everyone could enjoy it,” said fire department chief Wes Patterson.
Trucks went as far as Usk to the east and south to Lakelse Lake, matching the fire department’s protection area.
For the first time this year members of the Royal Canadian 747 Air Cadet Squadron assisted the fire department.
Squadron official Chris Bishop said the 27 cadets in the squadron were happy to help out.
The collection effort also resulted in collecting $900 in cash for the Salvation Army.
The fire department’s Christmas tradition has been going on longer than Patterson can remember.
“It has to be close to 30 years. It was going on when I joined,” said Patterson.
He credited Thornhill volunteer firefighter Ken Isaak with organizing the collection drive this year which involved the department’s 32 members.
Sight and Sound, Canadian Tire, J & F Distributors and the Independent Order of Foresters provided assistance.