Credit: Kelowna RCMP

Cram the Cruiser back in Lake Country

The annual fundraiser will be held Dec. 2 at the Save On

Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey’s holiday project is coming back to life for its sixth year.

The annual Cram the Cruiser will be held outside of the Lake Country Save On Foods store, Saturday, Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

While working in Chilliwack before moving to the Okanagan, he volunteered at a similar event and brought the idea to Lake Country.

“I love just going out, raising money and accepting donations and interacting with the public in a different way. I loved it so much when I came here I noticed there wasn’t a similar event so I started one,” he said.

Every year there has been an increase of food, cash and presents for children. Altogether, the event has raised just less than 10,400 lbs of donated items and more than $20,720 of cash, O’Donaghey said.

Citizens on patrol and police volunteers will be continuously moving food from the cop car to the food bank, so “people can continue cramming the cruiser.”

A chili lunch will also be provided and with donations there is a chance to win prizes.

The food bank has about 900 clients, with one third being youth, O’Donaghey said.

“Ideally, I’d like to expand it to Kelowna, but on that same weekend there’s always been the Stuff the Bus in Kelowna and West Kelowna and that benefits the Central Okanagan Food Bank.”

Lake Country Food Bank manager Joy Haxton said the community has been incredibly generous.

“The nice thing about this event for us is that it often gives us the items that food banks can’t afford to purchase,” Haxton said.

Food items like cans of ready-made soup, cereal, canned fruit, gravy mix and cash.

“These would be more of your Christmas luxuries,” she said.

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