When Barriere and Area Chamber of Commerce came up with the idea of holding a ‘Stuff The Cruiser’ event to raise donations for Barriere Food Bank Hampers they had no idea just how successful their event would be.
Chamber Administrative Assistant Leanne Hamblin spearheaded the organization of the event so it would take place with Barriere Late Night Shopping on Thursday, Dec. 12.
“Not even in my wildest imagination could I have predicted how great this event would go over,” said Hamblin, “We started at 3 p.m. for the people who couldn’t make it out later in the evening. Even before our 3 p.m. start time we had people coming in and dropping off stuff for the cruiser. By the time the two police cruisers arrived promptly at 3 p.m., I already had several items waiting to stuff the cruiser with.”
Constable Dallas Hunt showed up first, and Hamblin says after he parked the cruiser in front of the Chamber office she peered inside it and was surprised to see it was already filled from top to bottom with toys and food courtesy of the Barriere RCMP.
When Hamblin first started planning this event she was hoping they “would be lucky” if they filled the cruiser twice. However, thanks to the RCMP, the cruiser had to be emptied out right off the bat.
“People came out with open hearts and big smiles on their faces,” said Hamblin, “And let me tell you, we filled that cruiser not once, not twice, but nine times. How awesome is that?”
Donations arrived from businesses, clubs, groups, and individuals of all ages, “all with their arms full of goodies for the cruiser”.
“We had people that allowed us to take pictures to post on Facebook, and people that didn’t want their picture taken but allowed me to take their names so they could be properly thanked for their contribution, we also had people that wanted to remain anonymous, and we honoured that request as well.”
Many people stayed awhile after dropping off their donations, chatting with the police constables or warming by the campfire.
“We laughed and joked and just had so much fun,” said Hamblin, “We even had a lady that wanted to turn the siren on, and the constables let her.”
Asked what were her thoughts on the Chamber’s very first ‘Stuff The Cruiser’ event, Hamblin said, “It was a full, very gratifying event and I’m pretty sure everyone left happy. I am so very proud and delighted that this event went over as well as it did, but it wasn’t the Chamber that made this so successful, it was the people who made it what it was – and we thank every one of them. And if you should see Constable Hunt or Camalush out and about, thank them for giving us an amazing start to our ‘Stuff the Cruiser’ event, they both went above and beyond what was expected.”