Rick Johnson, Michelle Vallee and Canadian Tire staff pose with some of the toys available at Canadian Tire in anticipation of the 2nd Annual Spirit of Giving.

Some traditions simply must go on even after a store changes ownership, and the Spirit of Giving fundraiser and family fun day event at Canadian Tire in Kemptville, which had its inaugural run last year, is one such occasion. The Canadian Tire store was owned by Frank Hoffman for years, and under Frank’s watch, the retail location was known as a hotspot for both generosity and family fun. 

In September, the store’s ownership changed hands to Rick Johnson, and lucky for the North Grenville community, Rick is just as fond of giving back to the community as Frank. “I want it bigger!” said Rick. “Year after year, I want to see it get larger and larger and get into some serious coin.” Rick would like to be able to give large donations to local non-profit organizations, and feels that the Spirit of Giving event is on the right track to do so in the years ahead. “We just have to keep it growing,” he added. 

This year’s event, dubbed the “2nd Annual Spirit of Giving”, will happen on Saturday, November 18 from 9 am to 3 pm. All are welcome and encouraged to bring the whole family. There will be many free activities for all ages, including a bouncy castle, auctions, raffles, a 50/50 draw, opportunities to sit in a fire truck and police car, photos with Santa and photos with your pets, a canteen, and treats including popcorn, cotton candy, and hot chocolate and more.

The free event invites a goodwill offering, and those who are able are encouraged to make donations of food, toys or money, or to contribute anything they can in the “spirit of giving” to help the community. 

How did such a wonderful and festive event get started? Last year, 100 Women Who Care donated a cheque to JumpStart, Canadian Tire’s own charity that helps underprivileged youth participate in organized sports. One of the volunteer women pointed out that there was a great need in the community for things such as food donations, and the idea for a large fundraiser was born. 

Michelle Vallee from Moose FM explained that the Spirit of Giving event is actually a collaboration between Canadian Tire and Moose FM, which doubles as a launch for the Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign. The local radio station broadcasts from the event, which is supported by various local businesses who act as community sponsors. Store employees Anastasia Wiggins and Sam Harris are helping with the organizing as well. 

“Half of the fun of retail is to get excitement going,” said Rick. “My favourite time without a doubt is Christmas because the store is busy and people are happy.”

Come out and enjoy a great day to “receive” free family fun while “giving” the gift of food or a toy (if you’re able). See you on November 18!


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