AMHERST – How much money would you expect 100 working people to raise for a charitable cause? Ten grand? How about 20?
Employees of Weston Bakeries Amherst raised $38,262 this year. The funds are matched by the company’s Wonder+ Cares program, bringing the total donation to $76,525.
And all of it is being given to a cause picked by the employees: Camp Tidnish.
“It will get put to good use – lots of good use,” said Paige Fougere, who has attended the camp at least eight times.
“It’s, like, the highlight of my summer going up there,” said the Fall River resident, who attended the cheque presentation ceremony at Weston Bakery in Amherst’s industrial park.
“Bascially, it’s incredible,” said plant manager Tyler MacLeod.
“We beat every plant in Canada…three years in a row,” he said.
Previous recipients of the annual donation have been Maggie’s Place and Cumberland Early Intervention Program. Employees get to vote on which child-related charity they want to support each year.
More than half of the employee donation came from regular paycheque contributions. Other fundraising efforts included selling chocolate bars and hosting barbecues.
Patti Sampson, the camp’s director, found out this summer they’d be receiving a donation.
“We were incredibly excited to get the news,” said Sampson.
Donations are always welcome, of course, but Sampson also knew how much success the company had raising money in the past.
Weston’s employees deserve their reputation for giving.
MacLeod said the first year they did a fundraiser, they had a goal of $1,500 – and brought in $17,000. They’ve exceeded their goals each year since.
“We have big plans for this,” said Sampson.
Projects that may be helped by the donation include a therapeutic garden, an archery range, a fishing program and an in-ground trampoline.
Amherst’s Rotary Club owns the camp and the Easter Seals are the operators.
“Rotary’s very good to us,” said Elizabeth Murphy, with Easter Seals of Nova Scotia.
The camp’s annual operating budget is in the range of $200,000.