CHESTERMERE – It seems like the Car Nutz Show and Shine Vice President Paul Graham doesn’t like money. That is to say he doesn’t like money sitting in his clubs bank account so he likes to give it away – to charities. Paul and his team of car lovers put on their annual event (this was the 11th year) and the proceeds go into the bank, but not for long. He was astounded to find out how many kids in Chestermere go to school each day without the nutritional fuel to feed their brains and bodies. Prior to early 1990 there were just a few houses surrounding the Chestermere Lake and then the boom hit and houses started springing up everywhere. Although the houses and other structures seem newer and may project an effluent society, there are many families in need of some financial support and there are many other reasons why the kids need to eat at school, not just financial.
Ragan Johnson, Assistant Principal of the Chestermere Lake Middle School said “There are any number of reasons why the kids need to eat at school, they may play sports in the morning and may have already eaten at home but after sports, they need to eat again”. Others may have slept in and didn’t have time to chow down and catch the bus so their stomach takes a back seat to them getting to school. “Sometimes others do need some financial assistance from time to time”. “We don’t ask why, we just know they need the food to learn” added Ms. Johnson. She went on to say that it can cost between $400 and $700 per month to feed on average 120 kids per day. They do receive some food donations from various businesses but rely deeply on donations.
The Food for Thought Program is a non-profit organization that relies on funding provided by grants, donations, volunteers and in-kind services and is coordinated by Nikki McAllister of Rocky View Schools. Nikki applied for a grant 4 years ago through Breakfast Clubs of Canada and got accepted and now the program is in its 3rd year. She said “Programs like this are just starting to gain awareness and momentum built and it is things like this that will help create awareness”. The cheque worth $3000 was gratefully accepted and will go a long way.
This is the Car Nutz Club way of giving back to the community they love, and yes; they have a lot of fun doing it.