Leslea Destree (second from left) and Serena Neels with support from their husbands Duane Destree (left) and Ian Neels (right) organized a barbecue fundraiser for logging families held Friday, Oct. 4 at Margetts Meats. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Video: Williams Lake fundraiser to support logging families raises thousands for those in need

Organizers Lesley Destree and Serena Neels were happy with the show of support

Almost $6,000 will go to put groceries on the tables of logging families in need thanks to a fundraising barbecue held outside of Margetts Meats in Williams Lake on Friday, Oct. 4.

Organizers Lesley Destree and Serena Neels said their husbands work at Finning Canada and they know there are many people who have been out of work for months due to the downturn in the forest industry.

“We have talked to a few local logging companies and are waiting to talk to a few more,” Destree said . “It will be very discreet and we are going to let them give to crew members they know could really use help. For someone to put groceries on the table for a week or two will be a huge help, I’m sure.”

Destree and Neels decided on the fundraiser only one week before, so they were very happy with how it turned out.

“We were pretty happy,” Destree said. “It brought out a lot of support and it was good for everyone to see that they are not alone. When it comes down to it, and when loggers are hurting it trickles down and it affects everyone.”

She said it was nice to see so many people from all facets of the community come out and make donations.

“We wanted to rally support for the community and just keep the positive vibes going in Williams Lake,” Neels said during the fundraiser.

Courtney Vreeman, owner of Still North Design Co., created a T-shirt in support of local loggers a few days before the fundraiser with the intent of giving $5 of each sale toward the loggers. She also donated some for door prizes at the fundraiser and said by Tuesday, Oct. 8, 448 T-shirts had been sold.

“Two hundred of those were to a wholesaler on the Island who is going to be donating $5 from each shirt to their community of loggers,” Vreeman said. “As long as the money is being raised that’s all that matters.”

Other support came from Margetts Meats, Lorne Doerkson of IG Wealth Management, Tammy Tugnum, Old Dutch (Rob Sandrock), Interior Properties and Grassland Equipment, Destree said.

Last month hundreds of loggers from Prince George, throughout the Cariboo and beyond joined the Rally to Vancouver protest.

The rally saw log truck drivers take their rigs through downtown Vancouver and to the UBCM convention to bring attention to the plight of forest industry workers, many of whom haven’t worked in months.

In Williams Lake, third generation logger Jorden Ilnicki rallied Cariboo loggers to take part in the event after he and his family were forced to lay off their crews who to them are “like family.”

Read more:‘We’re all getting hit hard’: Cariboo loggers to join truck rally and protest job losses


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Lorne Doerkson and Bill Margetts cooked more than 400 burgers and 150 hot dogs for the logging family fundraiser. Margetts said he is a retired millworker from West Fraser Sawmill. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Courtney Vreeman of Still North Design Inc. created a design for T-shirts with $5 of each sale going toward local loggers. Photo submitted

So far more than 400 T-shirts have been sold.

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