Former Fort McMurray residents Jim and Sandy Walowski make a donation and grab a coffee and breakfast at the downtown Vernon Safeway drive-thru breakfast for wildfire relief Tuesday morning

Former Fort McMurray residents Jim and Sandy Walowski make a donation and grab a coffee and breakfast at the downtown Vernon Safeway drive-thru breakfast for wildfire relief Tuesday morning

Vernon supports Fort McMurray

In just four hours Tuesday morning, more than $17,895 was raised at the downtown Vernon Safeway’s drive-thru breakfast

Vernon residents have opened their hearts and wallets to help Fort McMurray.

In just four hours Tuesday morning, more than $17,895 was raised at the downtown Vernon Safeway’s drive-thru breakfast as hundreds came out to lend their support.

To top it off, Safeway will be matching those funds dollar-for-dollar, which will go to Red Cross for Fort McMurray relief effort.

“This was a remarkable community effort,” said Craig Dickson, Safeway store manager.

From crumpled up $5 bills to a couple $1,000 donations, support came community wide. Everyone, from moms with toddlers in tow, to businesses such as Browns Socialhouse, and organizations such as the Sikh Temple, came out to help the wildfire victims.

Their hearts go out to all those impacted and many stories were shared of both tragedy and luck of families and friends affected.

Former Fort McMurray residents Jim and Sandy Walowski, now Vernonites, were obviously very touched by the cause, so it was a no-brainer of where to get their morning coffee and breakfast Tuesday.

“We have family there,” said Sandy, while Jim added: “but their place didn’t get touched fortunately.”

Kamloops resident Ken Crockett was just driving through when he heard about the fundraiser on the radio and decided to pull in.

“I challenge all other contractors to make a donation,” said Crockett, who handed over a crisp red bill.

The Vernon Fire Department helped pack breakfast bags and serve coffee, along with a host of Safeway staff, and even a few customers, happy to start the day off right for the cause.

Safeway continues to accept donations for fire victims.