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Checkstop for Charity takes place on Main Street

On a fiercely brisk Saturday afternoon, Bonnyville’s first responders and Victim Services Unit were present on Main Street to collect toys, food and cash donations for local organizations.

BONNYVILLE – On a fiercely brisk Saturday afternoon between noon and 2 p.m., the Town of Bonnyville’s Main Street was filled with the flashing lights of emergency vehicles carrying out the ninth annual Charity Checkstop hosted by Bonnyville Victim Services Unit (VSU). 

The first Charity Checkstop started 10 years ago when an RCMP officer new to the area suggested the event bringing the idea from another community, explained Debbie Winstone, the Bonnyville VSU program manager. 

“The nice thing about the checkstop is that it gives community members a chance to see their first responders face to face and it’s a really good way to have that positive experience,” she said. 

Emergency crews taking part in the checkstop and weathering the freezing temperatures were Bonnyville’s EMS, the RCMP, the MD of Bonnyville’s peace officers, Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority members and Victim Services staff. 

Collecting a wide array of items during the checkstop, Toys collected during the two-hour events will be given to Bonnyville Centralized High School’s Santa’s Elves project, food collected is given to the Bonnyville Food Bank, and cash donations received go to support VSU programming. 

The amount of community donations varies every year, explains Winstone, “It depends what’s going on in the community. Some of our community has fallen on hard times in the last few years, but in true Bonnyville fashion the community comes out and they donate and we are happy with whatever donations we get.”   

This year should have been the 10th annual event, but the Charity Checkstop was put on hold last year due to the pandemic. 

Jazmin Tremblay

About the Author: Jazmin Tremblay

Jazmin completed a minor in journalism at Hanze University in the Netherlands and completed her Communication Studies degree from MacEwan University with a major in journalism.
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