Wildfire T-Shirt proceeds exceed all expectations

Money goes to small fire departments and more

Shane Gunn and Darcy Foster hoped their 2017 Wildfire T-shirt fundraiser would generate $20,000 to $25,000 to help small volunteer fire departments that were struggling.

That was their original target.

But a year later, the project has surpassed all expectations.

“We’ve actually raised $210,000 minus expenses,” Gunn said before handing out three more $2,500 cheques to three local First Nations groups in Williams Lake on July 6.

“It’s been a good run.”

Read more: Wildfire T-shirts selling like hotcakes

Cash donations have totalled almost $130,000 and another $62,000 in-kind donations of T-shirts and decals that organizations could use for further fundraising.

A former firefighter and search and rescue volunteer, Gunn said about two weeks into the 2017 fires, he recalled how in 2003 there was someone selling T-shirts during the Kelowna fires.

“I thought we should do that.”

Crediting businesses in 100 Mile House for helping them get the project started and eventually Schickworks in Williams Lake who took over the printing of the shirts, Gunn said they started out ordering 500 or 1,000 shirts at a time to sell.

“It was all serendipitous and not really well-thought out but in hindsight it was great,” Gunn said.

“At first we went with eight sizes and three colours, but then went with all black, and then later added pink. Then in the fall we decided to make hoodies, which was great, but we didn’t realize how big those orders would be.”

Laughing, he described needing to use his sled trailer to pick up 96 boxes of hoodies that were crammed into Schick Works.

“They took up five times the size as the T-shirts did,” he said.

One of the funnest aspects of the experience has been giving out the money and noticing how far the T-shirts have gone in the world.

“We sent them to the US, New Zealand and the UK from our online store,” Gunn said.

And he said he has received texts from people telling him they’ve seen people wearing the T-shirts on beaches in Mexico.

Foster said they are both very grateful and proud that the community supported the cause.

“During the craziness of last summers fires, the T-shirt fundraiser became this amazing symbol of community pride,” Foster said.

“It not only raised money for local fire halls and other groups in need; but it also became a badge that said, I understand and I’m with you.”

Foster and Gunn grew up next door to each other in 108 Mile House.



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

CASUAL COUNTRY 2019: Chad Webb’s coaching career comes full circle with Williams Lake Blue Fins

“I’m lucky to be here and I plan on staying and coaching in the community.”

CASUAL COUNTRY 2019: Artist, rancher, adventurer Jack Peterson and his Mountain North Art Gallery

Near the bottom of Tatlayoko Hill is Jack Peterson’s Mountain North Art Gallery

COLUMN: Achieving contractor sustainability during uncertain times

With the recent mill closures and market problems, contractors are feeling the impacts

CASUAL COUNTRY 2019: Ocean Falls:where pristine wilderness abounds

Located west of Bella Coola, Ocean Falls is only accessible by boat or seaplane

First of Interior Forest Sector Renewal meetings kicks off in Williams Lake

Around 40 people from local government, industry, COFI, Alkali Resource Management and Williams Lake Community Forest attended

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Most Read