BELLEVILLE, Ont. - The drizzling, cold weather on the morning of April 16 was not enough to deter a group of industry supporters who banded together to help the employees affected by a recent kitchen fire at the 10-Acre Truck Stop in Belleville.
BELLEVILLE, Ont. – The drizzling, cold weather on the morning of April 16 was not enough to deter a group of industry supporters who banded together to help the employees affected by a recent kitchen fire at the 10-Acre Truck Stop in Belleville.
The April 4 fire, which caused more than $250,000 in damage, has left the truck stop currently unable to serve food, and has limited business hours for the store, showers and washrooms.
As a result, nearly 40 employees will be out of work while renovations are completed over a two-month period.
To help support the affected staff, Wendy Morgan-McBride, founder of the Memorial Highway in Heaven – Tribute for Truckers program, and Emily Walker, a staffer at the diesel bar at the truck stop, went to work organizing a fundraiser.
After creating an event site on Facebook, Morgan-McBride and Walker appealed to the trucking industry for donations of cash, food, raffle items and time to make the fundraiser, dubbed “Locals helping Locals,” a success.
Organizers say raffle and auction items were arriving right up to and all during the event. Truck News, Belleville International, Pioneer and Free Flow were among those who made donations for the raffle, while ITS, TAW Accounting’s Arlene Wannamaker and others made cash donations.
Morgan-McBride said most of the volunteers during the event were truck stop staff.
“They looked at it as helping their co-workers,” she said. “They may be worried about their own lives, but were most concerned with making sure their work family was taken care of and it was a great way to relieve some stress and have a fun social time with such a devastating interruption in their lives. These are people they see every day, look forward to chatting with, so they were missing that part of their lives.”
Near the end of the day, one of the owners of the 10-Acre arrived from Toronto and presented a $500 cheque for the fund. In the end, more than $2,400 was raised with more coming.
Organizers said the goal was to get $100 for each employee affected, and while they were a little short on the date of the fundraiser, Morgan-McBride feels that goal will be met and exceeded.
“A gloomy rotten day outside had sunshine underneath in the dining room of the 10-Acre with warmth of the hearts that kept giving,” she said.
“The staff found out they are appreciated more then they realized and not alone and a lot of people got to enjoy a day with staff and friends, helping in part to keep our community functioning. What a great day to be in the trucking world.”
For more information or to find out how to donate, contact Morgan-McBride at 613-394-2741 or 613-242-0471, Walker at 613-813-1071, or Amy Peers at 613-242-8364.