The Starfish Pack program in Vernon is getting support from Tolko Industires. (Morning Star file photo)

The Starfish Pack program in Vernon is getting support from Tolko Industires. (Morning Star file photo)

Tolko rallies behind youth

Tolko Industries will support 20 not-for-profit organizations in the communities it operates in across Western Canada

  • Apr. 26, 2017 4:21 p.m.

A Vernon-based company is reaching out to communities.

Tolko Industries will support 20 not-for-profit organizations in the communities it operates in across Western Canada, with the initiative including a $150,000 donation in 2017.

“Our focus is on supporting organizations that provide programs and services for at-risk youth,” said Brad Thorlakson, Tolko president.

“The organizations we are partnering with do excellent work in our communities, and we are very happy to support their efforts and the programs they provide to assist children and families.”

Some of the programs Tolko is supporting include Boys and Girls Clubs, Breakfast Clubs, Starfish Pack program, KidSport and women’s shelters.

With assistance from the Vernon School District in Vernon, the Starfish Pack program aims to help children in need of food over the weekend, and provides a backpack of healthy food for children to take home.

“We started a pilot program with 20 backpacks in one school in April 2016,” said Carmen Larsen, with the Kalamalka Rotary Club and a Starfish Pack advocate.

“We had overwhelming support for the program from students, parents and the community. With the recent support from Tolko, there is now a total of 67 backpacks being delivered to children at six elementary schools in the Vernon area each week.”