Cloth­ing drive sends trans­port trailer to Fort Mac fire­fight­ers

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Kyle Smylie

A cloth­ing drive which started off as a small col­lec­tion of items for fire­fight­ers in Fort McMur­ray turned into a mas­sive stock­pile of goods worth be­tween $15,000-$20,000 wrapped up Sun­day and the goods were suc­cess­fully de­liv­ered to Fort Mac.

An en­closed trailer full of socks, t-shirts, un­der­wear, and toi­letries was gath­ered at Drumheller Chrysler this week­end and has al­ready made its way to the fire­fight­ers sta­tioned in Fort McMur­ray.

“We put out a post (online) and in a day, Drumheller came through again,” said or­ga­nizer Jamie Wor­man, who, along with seven other vol­un­teers, spent seven hours this week­end sort­ing and load­ing the goods into a trans­port trailer that was pro­vided by Base­line Earth­works in Brooks.

The cloth­ing drive was started by Ari­ana Mancini, a Drumheller na­tive and the wife of a Fort McMur­ray fire­fighter, who was dis­placed from her home last Tues­day and re­turned to Drumheller.

Mancini ini­tially started the drive to fill her SUV with fresh cloth­ing items for the fire­fight­ers like her hus­band who were battling the blaze up north, and who were with­out ac­cess to laun­dry ser­vices.

“(I was) in touch with my hus­band and oth­ers who are there and learned of the sim­ple liv­ing con­di­tions,” said Mancini.

She or­ga­nized for the items to be de­liv­ered to RCMP at the base of High­way 63, the ac- cess point to Fort McMur­ray about 244 kilo­me­tres south of the city where it meets High­way 55. RCMP sta­tioned there to block traf­fic into the city, agreed to en­sure the de­liv­ery of the items into Fort Mac.

Early Sun­day morn­ing the goods left Drumheller and suc­cess­fully made it to Fort McMur­ray.

“All do­na­tions by far ex­ceeded what we thought,” said Mancini. “The heart of Drumheller has al­ways been in the right place and I knew that the whole time I lived here.”

Jamie Wor­man told The Mail that or­ga­niz­ers are still en­cour­ag­ing res­i­dents to make do­na­tions to the evac­uees of Fort McMur­ray.

Top Rocker in Rosedale is tak­ing do­na­tions Wed­nes­day to Sun­day. There are two cargo trail­ers parked there, which will be de­liv­ered to Fort Mac as they are filled with toi­letries and cloth­ing.

mailphoto by Kyle Smylie

An es­ti­mated $15,000-$20,000 of cloth­ing goods were col­lected over the week­end and shipped to Fort Mac on Sun­day morn­ing. Do­na­tions of cloth­ing and toi­letries will con­tinue to be ac­cepted at Top Rocker in Rosedale as Drumheller’s sup­port of Fort McMur­ray re­lief ef­forts con­tin­ues. Pic­tured are or­ga­niz­ers Linda Buchamer, Jamie Wor­man, and Ash­ley Fredrick­son.

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